Missouri Man Sentenced to More Than Eight Years for Interstate Stalking
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 06, 2014|
PORTLAND, ME—The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Benjamin Lee, 52, of Springfield, Missouri, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge D. Brock Hornby to 100 months in prison for interstate stalking. Lee was found guilty of the charges on September 17, 2013, following a jury trial.
According to testimony presented at the five-day trial, Lee traveled across state lines from Missouri to Maine with the intention of killing, injuring, harassing, and surveilling his then-estranged wife and her new boyfriend, placing them both in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.
The evidence showed that between April and May 2012 Lee sent several threatening e-mails and later communicated verbal threats to kill the couple in Maine when speaking to his friends and family between July and September 2012. On September 6, 2012, the couple received a call from Lee’s sister who had not heard from him and believed he may be traveling to Maine to cause the couple harm. Lee arrived outside the couple’s Limerick, Maine home at dusk on September 7, 2012, resulting in a series of 911 calls reporting that Lee was presently driving past their house in a white Cadillac and may have a gun.
A short time later, Maine State Police troopers conducted a search of the white Cadillac that Lee was operating about four miles from the couple’s home and located, among other items, five firearms, three of which were loaded; over 200 rounds of ammunition; a machete; duct tape; rope; a roll of plastic sheeting; trash bags; an empty 10 gallon cooler; and handcuffs.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maine State Police, and the York County Sheriff’s Office.