A Seaford man who pleaded guilty in March to cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend was sentenced to four years in prison on June 20.
Thomas Traficante, 23, was convicted of one count of cyberstalking and one count of distribution of a controlled substance at the U.S. District Court in Rochester after harassing his ex-girlfriend, a student at the State University of New York at Geneseo, between October and December 2017.
According to an affidavit submitted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Traficante posted her phone number on a prostitution website, mailed drugs to her college residence and broke a window of one of her family's cars with a BB gun. He also sent threatening text messages, such as, “its not safe out there tonight,” and, “there are various people among different orgs who have hurt me. My plan is to hurt them,” to the victim.
At the sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola told the court that a loaded AR 15 rifle was found at his residence at the time of his arrest. That, she argued, was extremely concerning when coupled with his verbal threats and escalating behavior.
James Kennedy Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, thanked members of the SUNY Geneseo Police for tracking down the source of threatening text messages.
“Their efforts very well may have prevented an unspeakable act of violence from occurring resulting in tragedy and heartbreak," Kennedy Jr. added.
Prosecutors also said Traficante committed similar acts of digital harassment in 2014-15, although he was not charged in that case.