ANCHORAGE – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging a Kasilof, Alaska, man with five counts of making interstate threats and one count of cyberstalking for making death threats from Alaska to individuals in other states.
According to court documents, Benjamin Tarbell, 34, began making death threats against individuals in Vermont and other states in August 2021. The threats, which continued to escalate through early September, were made via text messages, Instagram messages and telephone calls. Tarbell moved from Vermont to Alaska around April 2021.
Tarbell was arrested by the FBI on a federal complaint on September 10 at the Kenai Municipal Airport as he was checking in for his flight to Vermont with a rifle, two handguns, ammunition, two knives and a tactical vest.
The defendant made his initial court appearance on September 14 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew M. Scoble of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska. Tarbell is in federal custody and will remain detained pending trial.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years each for counts 1 through 5, and a maximum of ten years in prison for count 6. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case with support from the Alaska State Troopers, Vermont State Police and the Massachusetts State Police.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Heyman is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.