Student Who Hacked Over a Dozen Email and Snapchat Accounts of Female Students from the University of Puerto Rico Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On July 13, 2022, Iván Santell-Velázquez pled guilty to cyberstalking before United States District Court Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2), announced W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. 

According to the parties’ stipulation of facts, Santell-Velázquez, while a student at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, sent unauthorized emails to faculty, administration, and students under the moniker “Slay3r_r00t”. Santell targeted over 100 student email accounts and successfully broke into multiple university e-mail accounts, collecting personal information through phishing and spoofing schemes. In addition, between 2019 and 2021, Santell-Velázquez hacked into several female students’ Snapchat accounts, some of which contained nude images that he shared with third parties who published the images online. 

After Santell-Velázquez broke into a victim’s Snapchat account, she began receiving harassing text messages with her intimate pictures.  Nude photos stolen from the victim’s Snapchat account were posted on Twitter as well as on a Facebook page.

The plea agreement encompasses 15 female victims of Santell-Velázquez’s conduct, as well as the University of Puerto Rico.

“This individual engaged in phishing and spoofing schemes to steal information,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow.  “He harassed numerous women with the nude photos he stole from them, and in some cases, he published them. This case demonstrates the importance of safeguarding personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious e-mails and text messages.”

“Individuals who engage in this type of behavior know what they are doing is wrong and they know they are causing great harm to their victims. What I want everyone to know is that, it is not just wrong, it is a federal crime, and one that the FBI won’t tolerate.” said Joseph González, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office. “I want to urge everyone who has been a victim to this crime to report it immediately by calling 787-987-6500 or visiting tips.FBI.gov”.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanette Collazo is in charge of the prosecution of the case. FBI Special Agent Christian Nieves of the San Juan Cyber Division was in charge of the investigation.  Cyberstalking carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 12, 2022.

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