A federal jury in South Florida has convicted Brandon Michael Fleury, 22, of Santa Ana, California, of cybserstalking and sending a kidnapping threat to families of victims of a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, announced U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Fleury used thirteen different Instagram accounts, using aliases including alleged Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, and others, to target families and friends of Parkland shooting victims with messages over the course of three weeks between Dec. 22, 2018 and Jan. 11, 2019. Many of the messages, including ones written under usernames referring to Cruz and containing Cruz’s profile picture, taunted the message recipients about the deaths of loved ones in the Parkland shooting. On Dec. 25, 2018, Fleury, sent a message stating, “I’m your abductor I’m kidnapping you fool.” On January 9, 10, and 11, 2019, Fleury continued to harass, intimidate, and threaten the message recipients from multiple Instagram accounts. These included messages sent under the username “the.douglas.shooter,” and using a profile picture of Nikolas Cruz. These messages included statements like, “With the power of my AR-15, you all die,” and “With the power of my AR-15, I take your loved ones away from you PERMANENTLY.”
After examining Fleury’s tablets, law enforcement found thousands of saved images of Ted Bundy, images of the targeted victims, and saved screenshots of the messages that he had sent the victims.
Fleury was convicted of interstate transmission of a threat to kidnap, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c), and interstate cyberstalking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261A. Fleury is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2, 2019 by United States District Judge Rudolfo A. Ruiz II (Case No. 19cr60056). Fleury faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigatory efforts of the FBI’s South Florida Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force and Broward Sheriff’s Office in this matter. U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan also thanked the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and task force members. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared M. Strauss and Ajay Alexander.