A Marshall County man was convicted Thursday afternoon of cyberstalking as well as a federal gun violation following a four-day jury trial presided over by United States District Judge Debra M. Brown. Anthony Robinson, 54, of Byhalia, Mississippi, was found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Cyberstalking, a new federal law which makes it a crime to use email or other facility of interstate commerce to intimidate or harass a person and put them in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. The announcement regarding Robinson’s conviction was made by U.S. Marshal Daniel R. McKittrick and U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar.
Testimony presented during the trial revealed that following his layoff in Desoto County, Robinson began sending emails referencing mass shootings to his former employer and the attorneys representing his former employer. In the emails, sent from October of 2018 until July of 2019, Robinson self-identified with a number of mass shooters, including Dewayne Craddock and Omar Thornton. Three victims testified that the emails put them in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. A search of Robinson’s residence revealed a number of firearms and ammunition.
Following the verdict, U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar noted the importance of this case and commended federal, state and local law enforcement partners for their dedication to helping make our communities safer. “This case marks the first prosecution in our District under the new federal law preventing cyberstalking and the new Project Guardian initiative, implemented by the Department of Justice in the Fall of 2019, remarked Lamar. “Utilizing the framework of Project Guardian alongside our existing efforts through Project Safe Neighborhoods, we will continue to work alongside our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to make our communities safer, one case at a time.”
The investigation and prosecution of Robinson was undertaken as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s longstanding gun violence reduction initiative, and Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s new initiative to help reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.