Cyberstalking December 2013: James Howard Wheeler, 46, sentenced to 30 months’ federal imprisonment for Facebook Stalking

James Howard Wheeler,  was arrested on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013, at his San Diego residence in Imperial Beach, California, in the 1200 block of Downing Street, by FBI agents and Deputies of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for violating federal interstate stalking laws, specifically with violating:

  • Title 18, United States Code, Section(s) 2261A (2) (B), interstate stalking.

The stalking was involved in the divorce with his wife who moved from San Diego to Columbus, Georgia. Among several threats, Wheeler sent his wife pictures of a gun and an e-mail with the subject line:  "I hope you are dead!".

According to a affidavit, Wheeler told his wife in voicemails that if the FBI tried to arrest him he wouldn't go without a fight. One of the voicemails "states in part that if officers' return or try to remove him from the residence they should bring a 'lot of ammo.' Mr. Wheeler also verbalizes his intent to not be removed from his residence unless in a 'body bag," the document said.

Wheeler also threatened her mother and son, his wife said. A sheriff's deputy and a FBI agent interviewed Wheeler at his Imperial Beach residence in August 2012 and he admitted to posting threatening communications on Facebook. Although he was told to cease the threatening behavior, Wheeler continued to make threats of violence involving physical injury toward his estranged wife.

Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael J. Moore
 At that point, the FBI's Atlanta Field Office sought and obtained a federal arrest warrant charging Wheeler with interstate stalking. His threats included statements like:
  • "Planning my trip to Georgia. Gonna teach a few people some manners!"
  • "What are the odds that one family has 2 Lifetime movies made after their story?"
  • "People can run but they can't hide. See you soon." 
  • "Stay tuned to WRBL In Columbus. Wheeler is going to be famous."
The mention of a Lifetime movie was because a member of her family was in fact part of a made for TV movie. "Per Ms. Wheeler, the reference to a 'Lifetime movie' is in regards to the fact that a television movie was in fact produced regarding a member of her family who attempted to solicit a contract for the murder of her father," the affidavit said. Following his arrest, Wheeler was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

Judge Clay D. Land
All in all, over 37 threatening voicemails were left on the victim’s phone in a three-month period, as well as numerous Facebook and other public Internet postings.

On December 20th then (2013), the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael J. Moore, announced Wheeler has been sentenced by Clay D. Land, United States District Court Judge in Columbus, Georgia, to 30 months’ imprisonment for interstate stalking.

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