Barbiyeru sentenced in federal court
Vasiliy Barbiyeru, who was charged with threatening a local high school and a California college, will spend the next nine months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court last week.
The Newberg man appeared in U.S. District Court on Nov. 18 before Judge Michael Mosman, accompanied by federal public defender Mark Ahlemyer. Barbiyeru had entered a guilty plea to a single count of threatening interstate communication in late August. He originally pled not guilty in July and requested a jury trial.
Mosman sentenced Barbiyeru to nine months in federal prison and to serve three years of supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley had recommended that the 25-year-old receive the low end of the sentencing range because he has accepted responsibility for his actions and because he, Ahlemeyer said in August, has been seeking mental health treatment since his arrest. He had also agreed to have no further contact with Deep Springs College, the California school he made threats against via email and postal mail.
Barbiyeru avoided the maximum sentence for the crime to which he admitted, which could have sent him to prison for five years and levied a $250,000 fine on him.
By agreeing to a plea deal, Barbiyeru acknowledged that the prosecutor had sufficient evidence to prove that he "knowingly transmitted in interstate commerce an email containing a threat to injure multiple persons at Deep Springs College" and "the email was transmitted for the purpose of issuing a threat or with knowledge that the email would be viewed as a threat," according to the plea agreement.
The government's case was based primarily on an email that Barbiyeru sent in October 2017, after he was denied entry to the college in Big Pine, Calif.
"If you're not going to kill yourselves, I will help do it for you. Call the cops, call the FBI. I'm ready to kill some college students," he wrote. "You think I'm concerned with my self-preservation? You seem to be forgetting the amount of (expletive deleted) I have left to give. You guys are the cancer killing this planet. You're only self-righteous (expletive deleted) looking out for yourselves. Even if I don't kill any one of you, I will still bring your college the attention you apparently don't want. … Read my essay that I sent to you under Vasiliy Barbiyeru's application. That's going to be the manifesto that news outlets will read while you're grieving for your dead students. … Read it again and sleep tight. It's going to happen."
Prosecutors said Barbiyeru had previously sent threatening emails to the college's president and other employees as well.
Arrest follows call to high school
Barbiyeru was arrested by Lake Oswego police on March 1 for allegedly threatening a shooting at Lake Oswego High School earlier that day in a call that led to the lock-down of the high school and several other buildings.
According to police, Barbiyeru told LOHS administrators that "I'm coming over now and it's not going to be good." He also allegedly claimed he had guns as well as other weapons.
Barbiyeru was charged with first-degree disorderly conduct in Clackamas County Circuit Court after his arrest by the LOPD, which discovered during forensic examination of his cell phone that he had also allegedly attempted to call McMinnville High School.
The examination of his cell phone records also determined the man had researched both high schools as well as searched for gun stores in the area, according to court papers. The charges in Clackamas County are pending.
An investigation by the FBI began in earnest March 27 when the federal agency became aware of multiple alleged threats made by Barbiyeru. The FBI worked in conjunction with police departments in Newberg and Lake Oswego.
It wasn't the first time Barbiyeru had run afoul of the law for threats made against educational institutions.
"I learned that officers from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department arrested Barbiyeru Jr., in June of 2018 after the president of Deep Springs College in California contacted the FBI regarding an online threat Barbiyeru Jr. had made toward his school," FBI Special Agent Daniel McLaughlin wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed April 1. "I learned that Barbiyeru Jr. posted to an online forum, threatening to conduct a school shooting at the college on Oct. 5, 2017."
McLaughlin continued in the affidavit that Barbiyeru was soon after contacted by FBI agents from the agency's Salem office.
"During that interview Barbiyeru Jr. told the FBI agents that 'people make jokes' in regard to his threatening online forum posts. When asked if he had serious thoughts about harming other people, Barbiyeru Jr., stated that he wanted an attorney."
His interaction with federal law enforcement did little to curb Barbiyeru's desire to raise havoc, it appears.
"I learned that, on Oct. 7, 2017, just two days after speaking with FBI special agents, Barbiyeru Jr. sent a personally addressed threatening email from (his email address) to multiple staff members of Deep Springs College."
As he lived in Newberg at the time he sent the email, Barbiyeru was charged in June 2018 with second-degree disorderly conduct in Yamhill County Circuit Court, charges that were subsequently dismissed.
Barbiyeru was arrested by NDPD officers in late March for violating a court order barring him from contacting Deep Springs College, both via an email and also through a $100 online donation to the school on Jan. 2.
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