A Miami woman was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for cyberstalking on Facebook and Instagram.
The FBI said Kassandra Cruz, 23, was sentenced to 22 months in prison stemming from her conviction on one count of cyberstalking.
According to federal court documents, beginning in June 2015, victim “S.B.” received a “friend” request from Cruz on her Instagram and Facebook accounts.
In an effort to get “S.B.” to accept the Facebook friend request, Cruz created a fake Instagram account where she portrayed herself as a male who was an active duty U.S. Marine. Under that ruse, “S.B.” accepted the friend request.
From late June 2015 until September 2015, Cruz, posing as Giovanni, “liked” and commented on pictures that “S.B.” posted on both her Instagram and Facebook profiles.
However, when “S.B.” noticed that Cruz had begun “following” and “liking” all of her friends' pages and posts, she became suspicious and “blocked” and “unfollowed” Cruz from her social media accounts.
That's when federal officials said Cruz threatened that “S.B.” would face repercussions at her job and with her family if she did not comply, and specifically threatened to expose “S.B.’s” past via social media.
The threats continued on social media and later via text messaging, and Cruz tried to extort $100,000 from the victim.
Cruz claimed she knew where the victim's family lived and threatened them, saying they should watch their backs because someone would be heading to deal with them.
The FBI said “S.B.” received over 900 unwanted calls and text messages since the beginning of 2016 and continued until late April 2016.
Ultimately, Cruz was arrested and taken into custody during a pre-arranged meeting in Miami.
In addition to Cruz's 22-month prison sentence, the judge ordered three years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment and $2,178.32 in restitution.