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Man charged in social media threats

BUFFALO — An Irving man has been arrested over allegedly threatening a person over social media, after being arrested multiple times before.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced Tuesday that 24-year-old Weslee A. Thomas has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Peter J. Savage III on one count of first-degree criminal contempt (a Class E felony) and one count of second-degree harassment.

The defendant was arraigned on Nov. 12.

Thomas is accused of repeatedly threatening the victim through social media posts while knowingly in violation of an existing order of protection. The alleged threats were posted after the temporary order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim on Oct. 7.

The Buffalo Police Department obtained a temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order and a search was conducted at the defendant’s residence last week. No weapons were found.

Thomas is scheduled to return on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. Bail was set at $5,000 cash, bond, property or partially secured bond or release under supervision.

If convicted of the highest charge, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

According to Flynn, the defendant has a pending criminal case in Buffalo City Court for allegedly stalking and harassing the same victim. Thomas was arrested on Oct. 7. He was arraigned the same day before Buffalo City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio on one count of second-degree aggravated harassment (Class A misdemeanor) and two counts of first-degree stalking (Class B misdemeanors).

The defendant is accused of repeatedly threatening the male victim through various social media platforms, which placed the victim in reasonable fear of harm.

Thomas also has four additional pending cases in Buffalo City Court for allegedly threatening four other victims.

Thomas was arraigned before LoTempio on Oct. 7 on one count of second-degree aggravated harassment. He is accused of repeatedly threatening a female victim through various social media platforms, which placed the victim in reasonable fear of harm.

Thomas was also arraigned before LoTempio on Oct. 7, on one count of second-degree aggravated harassment and two counts of fourth-degree stalking. He is accused of repeatedly threatening a second male victim through phone, text and social media platforms, which placed the victim in reasonable fear of harm.

The defendant was released on his own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail. Judge LoTempio issued temporary orders of protection on behalf of the victims.

Thomas was arraigned before Savage on Nov. 12 on one count of second-degree aggravated harassment. He is accused of repeatedly threatening a second female victim through various social media platforms which placed the victim in reasonable fear of harm. Bail was set at $1. A temporary order of protection was issued for the victim.

Thomas was arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Carrie Phillips on Nov. 14, on one count of second-degree aggravated harassment. He is accused of repeatedly threatening a third male victim through social media which placed the victim in reasonable fear of harm. Bail was set at $1. A temporary order of protection was issued for the victim.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in these investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Brown of the Felony Trials Bureau.

Flynn note as are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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