Former Army Officer and Attorney Arrested on Cyberstalking Charge

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – An attorney and former Army Officer assigned to the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (JAG School) in Charlottesville, was arrested over the weekend in Arkansas and charged with cyberstalking.

Manfredo Madrigal, III, 36, a former resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, is charged with cyberstalking following a series of incidents related to threats made to at least two female victims, the attempted deletion of Army materials, lying to the FBI, and coaching a witness to provide false information to the FBI.

According to court documents, Madrigal was an active duty Army Officer and attorney when he was assigned to the JAG School in Charlottesville, Virginia in early 2022. Madrigal previously served multiple overseas tours of duty as an enlisted soldier with various units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82nd Airborne Division.  In late February 2022, Madrigal was discharged from the Army and JAG School for failing to report a previous conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).

In the overnight hours between February 6 and 7, 2022, and while his Army discharge was pending, Madrigal attempted to delete, without authorization, online JAG training materials. Madrigal filmed himself doing so and narrated his motivations.  In the video, Madrigal stated, “I’m gonna fu** you,” and “I’m going to bring their house down on them.”  The same evening, Madrigal contacted Victim 1 and informed her that Russia reached out to him, wanted to know what he knew, and that he intended to travel to Russia.  Madrigal’s cellphone records indicate he contacted the Russian embassy.

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On February 22, 2022, Madrigal was discharged from the JAG School and claimed in out-processing paperwork that he had no unreported contact with a foreign national, which was contrary to Madrigal’s phone records and statements to Victim 1.

In April and May 2022, Madrigal was interviewed by the FBI about his actions.  In these interviews, Madrigal made multiple false statements regarding his foreign contact and the deletion of the training materials.  For example, Madrigal claimed he learned of the deletion from a coworker, but denied any involvement.  Per text messages, however, Madrigal filmed his efforts to delete the module and claimed credit.

During the FBI’s investigation, agents discovered that Madrigal had been threatening Victim 1, a former romantic partner, both in-person and via electronic means. Between late 2021 and mid-2022, Madrigal sent Victim 1 messages threatening her career, family, and pets. At least three of these messages contained compromising and sexually explicit photos of Victim 1 that were taken without her consent or knowledge. Victim 1 also expressed being “terrified” of Madrigal and stated he threatened her, in-person, using a firearm at her residence and damaged her belongings. 

As the FBI’s investigation progressed, agents also uncovered evidence Madrigal pressured another former romantic partner, Victim 2, to provide false information to the FBI about Madrigal.  Victim 2 admitted to agents that Madrigal coached her prior to her FBI interview, and they discussed deleting incriminating text messages from his cellphone. 

On August 9, 2022, Madrigal and Victim 2 were involved in a dispute in Harrison, Arkansas and Madrigal pointed a pistol at Victim 2’s head.  Madrigal was arrested by local authorities in Arkansas and later transferred to federal custody to face cyberstalking charges for his conduct involving Victim 1.

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United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Burroughs Medearis is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.