U.S. District Judge David C. Nye handed down a 51 month sentence to 76-year-old Frank Abbott Sweeney, 76, of Garden City. Sweeney pled guilty to stalking six victims by harassing them through the mail. He will spend those 51 months in federal prison for using the US Mail Service to commit his crimes and he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release plus a $6000 fine.
United States Postal Inspection Service, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, and Boise Police Department investigated the case and because he used the US mail the case was prosecuted by a federal court.
Sweeney began harassing four of his victims in 2015 by sending them unwanted postcards which contained racial slurs and insults. The post cards were sent to both businesses and homes of the victims. The derogatory messages were typed onto prepaid postcards.
Sweeney admitted to hiring a private detective to obtain personal details about his victims after altercations over a parking spot at the Garden City post office and at a drive-through window at the Garden City Wells Fargo bank.
For more than three years, Sweeney continually sent post cards to his victims. At first only four, and as of 2018 an additional two.
He didn’t only send the postcards to the victims, but also sent postcards to one of the victim’s neighbours, pretending to be from the Idaho Sex Offender Registry saying that the victim was a registered sex offender. He went as far as sending convicted serial killers and incarcerated criminals messages pretending to be from the victims, asking them to write to them. The victims soon received many letters from these inmates around the country.
He also sent a postcard to the Idaho Black History Museum, impersonating one of the victims. The postcard held racial slurs.
It was when he started to harass the additional two victims that law enforcement were able to identify him as the culprit.