For Immediate Release
Nashville Man Pleads Guilty to Sending Internet Threat Targeting Law Enforcement Officers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – July 10, 2017 - Robert Ellis Waddey, 22, of Nashville, Tenn., pleaded guilty on Friday to communicating a threat by interstate commerce, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of the Middle District of Tennessee. Waddey was indicted by a federal grand jury in February of this year and was also charged with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to review every threat and act of violence against our law enforcement officers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith. “If the review finds that federal law was violated, you should expect to see federal charges brought against those responsible.”
According to court documents, in September 2015, Waddey posted a photograph on Instagram which depicted a handgun pointed at a Tennessee State Trooper vehicle. The posting was captioned, “F*** them non attentive hoes” and a comment read, “Gona die lookin at his computer.” Photographs subsequently found on Waddey’s phone also depicted a uniformed police officer bleeding heavily from the head and captioned “only a dead cop is a good cop.” Another photograph depicts a uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot multiple times in the back and laying in the street, while yet another photograph depicts a screen shot of a video showing another uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot and laying on the ground bleeding. This photo is captioned, “ON TAPE: OFFICER SHOT IN THE HEAD D….”
Waddey admitted during the plea hearing, that on September 13, 2015, while sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light in South Nashville, he took a photograph of a Glock pistol in his hand, positioned in such a way where the pistol would be viewed in the same frame as a police car on a traffic stop in the distance with the blue lights activated. Waddey posted with the photograph, a slang threat to law enforcement. Various text messages sent by Waddey also conveyed threats toward law enforcement and indicate the pleasure he took in the number of targeted cop killings.
Waddey also admitted during the plea hearing that his subjective intent in making the communications was to threaten law enforcement.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Waddey will also forfeit 13 handguns, four assault rifles and a shotgun.
Waddey faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 16, 2017.
This case was investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Courtney Coker is prosecuting the case.