(STL.News) – An Oklahoma man is in custody after being charged with stalking a former acquaintance who moved to Savannah for safety.
Brannon Jeffries, 34, of Tulsa, Okla., has been charged with one count of Cyberstalking after his indictment by a U.S. District Court grand jury, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and substantial financial penalties upon conviction, and there is no parole in the federal system.
“The near-infinite reach of the internet has opened vast avenues for legitimate commerce and communication,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “But we will pursue anyone who uses those tools to stalk and harass innocent victims.”
According to court documents, the victim, then a Kansas resident, entered a romantic relationship with Jeffries in November 2018 after connecting with him online. She later terminated the relationship. Following the break-up, the complaint alleges, Jeffries created social media pages and websites in her likeness, posted intimate photos to them, and attempted to contact the victim and her family from the imposter accounts. Additionally, Jeffries used the United States mail to harass and intimidate the victim.
Based on a criminal complaint preceding the indictment, Jeffries was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and is awaiting further court proceedings.
“It is alleged that this defendant tried to hide in the shadows of the internet to harass and create immense trauma and pain to the victim and her family,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “By prosecuting this abhorrent behavior, the FBI and U.S. Attorney are hoping to bring some semblance of peace to those victims.”
Anyone with knowledge of this case is asked to contact FBI Savannah at 912-790-3100.
Indictments and criminal complaints contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Pennington.