ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dustin John Charles, 37, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was charged in federal court today after an arrest for cyberstalking.
According to a criminal complaint, on April 29, Charles allegedly posted a photo of a Las Cruces police officer on Facebook and stated that he was having dreams of killing the officer. Charles allegedly sent a Facebook friend request to the officer. The officer noticed a Facebook post by Charles claiming to have captured a burglary suspect on camera. The post included a link to the photo of the officer that Charles allegedly had posted.
On Sept. 5, Charles allegedly sent an email to the New Mexico office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that included a reference to killing the Las Cruces officer. The following day, Charles allegedly sent the ACLU a similarly threatening email.
On Nov. 30, in response to a Las Cruces Sun-News Facebook post regarding Las Cruces’ new Chief of Police, Charles allegedly replied indicating that he would be more likely to shoot a Las Cruces police officer than allow himself to be pulled over.
By federal law, the use of any interactive computer service to engage in conduct intended to harass or intimidate another person is a felony. If convicted, Charles faces up to five years in prison. A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The FBI investigated this case in conjunction with the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan is prosecuting the case.