BUFFALO — U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Tuesday that Luke Marshall Wenke, 29, of 322 N. 13th St., Olean, pleaded guilty to cyberstalking before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr.

In the plea agreement, Wenke’s sentencing range would include 18 to 24 months of imprisonment, a fine of $7,500 to $75,000 and a period of supervised release of one to three years.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles M. Kruly and David J. Rudroff, who are handling the case, stated that between Jan. 23 and 24, Wenke threatened to injure an individual identified as R.G., a criminal defense attorney in Minnesota, Minn.

According to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, Benjamin Ryan Teeter, an acquaintance of Wenke’s in Minneapolis, Minn., was arrested Sept. 3, 2020. Teeter was represented by R.G.

Teeter was charged federally with conspiracy to provide material support and resources to Hamas, a Palestinian organization classified by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization. He pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2020.

Beginning in September 2020, Wenke grew dissatisfied with the representation that R.G. provided to Teeter and began to harass and threaten R.G. Between Sept. 22, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2022, Wenke sent R.G. more than 76 emails, a voicemail and made two phone calls to R.G.’s law firm.

The complaint indicated Wenke attempted to visit R.G.’s law firm in-person on one occasion and posted numerous fake internet reviews of R.G.’s law firm. Several of the communications referenced Wenke’s possession of firearms and/or his familiarity with explosives.

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On Jan. 23, Wenke sent R.G. an email in which he stated, among other things, “They say men respect each other after a fight. I will gladly take a steel chair to your face until I get what I want here. You don’t respect me… but you will.”

On Jan. 24, Wenke sent another email to R.G. in which he stated, among other things, “This fight will happen, do not fear and do not worry. Do not cross certain lines. Oh boy do I have work to do tomorrow.” That same day, Wenke sent another email and attached a photo depicting an arial view of R.G.’s residence and a drive time to it from western New York.

Wenke was apprehended by federal authorities in Olean on Jan. 28.

Sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 18 before Judge Sinatra.

Wenke is a former chairman of the Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party and previously sought the national chairmanship for the party. He ran for Cattaraugus County coroner in 2019, receiving 500 votes, or 3%. The Libertarian party has since disassociated itself from Wenke due to his behavior prior to September 2020.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia and the Olean Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ron Richardson.

(Contact editor/reporter Kellen Quigley at kquigley@oleantimesherald.com.)

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