A 29-year-old Colorado man has been released on bond pending trial in a case in which he was arrested and charged with false reporting and harassment in connection with alleged ongoing cyber harassment of a Los Alamos woman.
Andrew Brown was picked up June 18 in Colorado Springs, Colo., on an arrest warrant from Los Alamos Magistrate Court requested June 13 by Los Alamos Police Det. Ryan Wolking.
LAPD first became aware of the situation in early May when the victim told officers that she met Brown online and had a relationship with him for six months and he had been texting and calling her from different numbers and creating fake Facebook profiles with her face on them. She had recently moved from Albuquerque to Los Alamos and said Brown knew where she lived but that she only knew his name and had no other personal information for him.
Deputy District Attorney Kent Wahlquist reminded Judge Casados that at a prior hearing he told her Brown has a significant criminal history including a misdemeanor assault in 2011, a misdemeanor criminal mischief in 2012, which included property damage, a felony criminal mischief assault in 2013 and a burglary in 2017, all in Colorado.
“He was on that felony probation at the time of these incidents here where he was harassing, essential stalking and doing other threatening things to a victim here in Los Alamos,” Wahlquist said. “He has no ties at all to this community or this state other than the victim that he met online and continues to harass online. He has three failures to appear and five arrests for failure to comply with conditions of the court.”
He also reminded Judge Casados that she had previously determined Brown to be a flight risk.
“I think he’s also a potential danger, which is why you noted at the last hearing that you’d didn’t want him wandering the streets of Los Alamos where his victim lives. You made the correct finding. You made the right bond – $5,000 cash surety with 10 percent to the Court, electronic monitoring and no contact – and I don’t think you should change that, ” Wahlquist said. “You’ve heard nothing here today that I think should cause you to change your mind about the potential flight risk. Probation did not stop him before. It won’t stop him this time. So you need to protect the community and ensure his appearance with that bond and electronic monitoring.”
Brown’s attorney Peter Bloodworth said if he was released under bond, Brown would work at his father’s place of business in Colorado. He said there was someone in the courtroom who would pay Brown’s bond and transport him out of Los Alamos. He said Brown has been in custody for a month and needs an opportunity to prepare his defense, adding that Brown is on felony probation in Colorado, which complicates the case in Los Alamos.
“His father assured the Court in a letter that he will come back to Court and if he doesn’t, there’s a felony court in Colorado Springs that I imagine will take care of that quickly,” Bloodworth said.
Casados said that she had found out in the meantime that electronic monitoring cannot be done out of state. Bloodworth said Brown can certainly be put on electronic monitoring through his Colorado probation. Wahlquist said Brown could make those arrangements from Los Alamos as the Detention Center would allow him to make phone calls.
Casados said one of the reasons she worried about Brown being on the streets of Los Alamos was that he said he would catch a bus and that in Los Alamos that was “a complicated thing”. She asked Brown if he had transportation to leave town and get back and who would provide the transportation. She determined that Brown meets with his probation officer in Colorado once a month and calls in weekly. She asked what how Brown would get back to Los Alamos and expressed concern that he would be in town without supervision. Brown said his father would transport him back and he would stay in Santa Fe and leave Los Alamos immediately after Court hearings. Casados also asked if Brown has access to a computer and he responded that he does not have one.
She said if bond was posted she would impose the original conditions of release with the exception of electronic monitoring and she required him to meet weekly with his Colorado probation officer and report to this court.
“If they say they can’t do that, I will reconsider, have you arrested and bring you back. I want you reporting to somebody weekly,” she said.
Court documents indicate detectives first visited the victim’s home to follow up on information left on an online crime tip portal that the victim was supposedly growing marijuana there, however no evidence was found and it was soon determined that the false report was part of Brown’s harassment of the victim.
When the victim met with Wolking, she told him Brown had created fake online profiles where her face had been pasted to nude women’s bodies and it was being portrayed as if she was a prostitute for hire. In addition, Wolking’s report indicates the victim told him she had had three different men show up to her residence with beer wanting to have sex with her. She told Wolking she had turned the men away and told them she was the victim of a stalker.
The victim showed Wolking her phone where she is receiving dozens of messages from random numbers in which men are requesting sexual services and offering her money. The report says some of the messages were from men saying they were at her apartment and lamenting that the front door was locked, referencing her apartment number or saying they would be there soon. Because of the victim’s expressed fear of sexual assault, Wolking reclassified the harassment case as a stalking case.
After investigating online, Wolking located Brown and attempted to speak to him by phone. He also identified the IP address used by Brown to make the false crime report. The victim reported to him that she had changed her phone number several times because she continued to get calls and messages. She also reported that a large order of pizza she hadn’t ordered was delivered to her home and Wolking determined that the order was submitted from the same IP address as the false crime report.