CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Benjamin Bolton, 38, of Getzville, NY, who was convicted of using social media to threaten to kill Amherst Police officers, was sentenced to serve 33 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who handled the case, stated that on March 18, 2022, Amherst, NY, police officers responded to reports of a male carrying a rifle in the vicinity of Sweet Home Road, near the nature view parking lot. The complainant told officers that she saw the male, later identified as Bolton, place the rifle in the trunk of a Black Toyota Corolla. Officers located the vehicle in the area, but it was unoccupied. A few hours later, officers observed Bolton exiting the woods with a suspected long gun. Bolton told officers it was a BB gun, which the officers verified that it was. Officers then advised Bolton the town ordinance that individuals are prohibited from carrying firearms in certain areas of the township, and Bolton left the area.
On April 8, 2022, Amherst officers responded to a Starbucks on Transit Road, for a menacing call. The victim stated that a black Toyota Corolla had “cut off” the victim as they were trying to enter the drive thru. As the victim attempted to drive around the vehicle, the victim saw the Corolla’s driver pointing what appeared to be a handgun out of the window and at the victim. The victim then fled the area and called 911. Officers located and stopped the black Toyota Corolla in the vicinity of Dodge and Glen Oak Roads. Bolton was taken into custody by Amherst Police Officers.
On April 10, 2022, Bolton posted communications on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, threatening members of the Amherst Police Department. On his Instagram account, Bolton posted, “Fictionally speaking, it’s time to kill a bunch of Amherst cops in front of their families.” Another post on the same day, which included a picture of Amherst Police Headquarters, read, “fictionally speaking, it’s time for this building to be blown up with all the cops and judges inside.” Bolton also posted a similar message on his Twitter account.
The sentencing is a result of an investigation by the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief Scott P. Chamberlin, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Michael Stansbury.
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