A former human resources manager for Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound was sentenced Friday to three years and five months in federal prison for making thousands of obscene and sexually threatening phone calls while using an Internet telephone "spoofing service."
Daniel Christopher Leonard, 32, of Olympia had pleaded guilty to one count of cyber stalking and four counts of making threatening communications in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.
Leonard used a website that allows people to disguise their voices, as well as their identifying phone number, Olympia police Cmdr. Tor Bjornstad has said. Leonard used the website to call 750 to 800 people in the Olympia area, Bjornstad has said, including co-workers.
He also used the website to make obscene and threatening phone calls in Monterey, Calif., where he had lived before moving to the Olympia area, court papers state.
Leonard terrorized his victims, in some cases using his knowledge of his victims’ physical appearance “in ways that proved he was physically close to them at the time he conveyed the threats,” a sentencing memorandum by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Warma states. His determination to “ratchet up the fear” of his victims warranted a prison term at the high end of the sentencing range, Warma wrote.
Many of the victims “altered their lives because of the phone calls; quitting jobs, moving and altering their activities. Many canceled their cell phone numbers, only to start receiving the calls at home or at work,” a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle states.
Police in Monterey learned that Leonard was making threatening phone calls by tracking down and obtaining a search warrant for the records of an Internet spoofing company in Toms River, N.J., according to federal court records. Monterey police were investigating obscene phone calls that a woman there began receiving in August 2009.
“Although the phone numbers registering on her caller ID differed on some of those calls, it was the same male voice each time,” reads Leonard’s criminal complaint by FBI special agent Ryan Bruett.
The phone calls to the Monterey woman continued through 2010. In one of the calls, the caller said, “I’ll have my hands all over you soon.”
Because the voice on the calls had been electronically altered, Monterey police requested a search warrant for the records of a spoofing company, www.spoofcard.com, operated by TelTech Systems, according to the criminal complaint. The records showed that someone had called the Monterey woman using the service. Monterey police subsequently identified Leonard as the person making the calls.
TelTech’s records showed 4,000 calls to 1,200 numbers on Leonard’s account, according to the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Leonard had made nearly 200 calls to one woman living in his Olympia apartment complex. He also made calls to a victim he had worked with at the Hotel Victor, in Miami, the news release states.
After Olympia police arrested Leonard in April, he confessed to making “sexually driven” phone calls to multiple women.
“He specifically targeted some women he knew, but then also randomly called women working at businesses such as tanning salons or coffee stands,” reads Leonard’s criminal complaint.
During Friday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the calls were “terribly disturbing, painful and haunting for the victims,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org