A Seaford man has pleaded guilty to cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend — including by posting her phone number on a prostitution website — and mailing cocaine to her upstate college mailbox, federal prosecutors said.
Thomas Traficante, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to cyberstalking and distribution of a controlled substance, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. Under a plea agreement, he faces up to 37 months in prison when he is sentenced later this year.
“Mr. Traficante made a decision to accept responsibility for what he did,” his attorney, Ray Perini of Islandia, said Friday. “He is ready to accept his punishment.”
Traficante met the woman, who was not identified by prosecutors, in May 2017 through an online dating site, according to a federal criminal complaint. The victim, a student at SUNY Geneseo, ended the relationship Oct. 26.
Between October and December, Traficante, a graduate accounting student at St. John’s University in Queens, began sending text messages menacing the victim and her Sigma Kappa sorority sisters, authorities said.
The messages said “its not safe out there tonight” and “there are various people among different orgs who have hurt me. My plan is to hurt them,” and “the only thing that helps is revenge,” prosecutors said.
On one occasion, Traficante used a device to disguise his voice, leaving a message for the woman’s housemates claiming that “I’m in the house.”
The victim changed her phone number but Traficante found her new contact information, sending a text message stating, “your all crazy if you think I’m not still out there,” prosecutors said.
On three separate occasions last November, Traficante anonymously sent drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamines, to the woman’s college mailbox, then tipped off university police to the package.
The woman allowed police to search her room and authorities found no drugs or equipment, the complaint said. The woman told officers that her ex-boyfriend had hacked her accounts and was “controlling,” prosecutors said.
She also provided investigators with texts from Traficante warning that if she did something he “strongly” disagreed with, her information could appear on a prostitution site.
“Well you wouldn’t be able to tell if I was manipulating you,” Traficante said, according to the complaint. “That’s the point of manipulation. It’s secretly getting someone to do something you want them to do.”
Traficante would live up to his threat. Investigators said he posed as the victim, creating a prostitution advertisement with her new phone number on Backpage.com. The woman received calls from more than 60 men seeking sexual encounters, authorities said.
The cyberstalking also included hacking into the victim’s email, cellphone, social media and college account, where he would submit chemistry quizzes with no answers provided, ensuring a score of zero, prosecutors said.
He also hacked the woman’s Amazon account, purchasing and mailing her a book about stalking titled “I’m Watching You.”
Traficante — who told the victim while they were dating that he had a rifle — also used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of the victim’s parents’ vehicle and home. A loaded AR-15 assault rifle was recovered when Traficante was arrested at his mother’s home in December.
Traficante harassed another woman from 2014 to 2015, but he was not charged in that case, authorities said.