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Former JAG attorney arrested for cyberstalking

A man who is a former paratrooper, U.S. Army Ranger and attorney with the Judge Advocate General’s school at the University of Virginia has been arrested and is charged in U.S. District Court with cyberstalking in connection with a six-month series of events that included threats to two female victims, the attempted deletion of Army training materials, lies to the FBI and witness tampering.

Manfredo Madrigal III, 36, a former Charlottesville resident, is charged with cyberstalking one of the women, identified in court records as Victim 1.

According to an affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court, Madrigal previously served multiple combat tours of duty as an enlisted soldier with the 75th U.S. Army Ranger Regiment and 82nd Airborne Division. He studied law at the University of Kansas and was assigned to JAG at UVa.

Court records show Madrigal was arrested in Boone County, Arkansas for threatening another woman, identified as Victim 2, with a firearm. He was transferred to federal authorities after the cyberstalking charge was filed on Aug. 13.

The affidavit, penned by an FBI agent who investigated Madrigal, states that the series of events began when the combat veteran was set to be discharged from the Army for failure to report a DUI conviction.

The agent claims that on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 Madrigal attempted to delete online JAG training materials without authorization, reportedly filming himself doing so; and contacted Victim 1 to tell her that Russians had contacted him regarding what information he may have.

Madrigal’s cellphone records indicate he contacted the Russian embassy, the affidavit states.

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.

The deletions were soon discovered by JAG staff. In April and May 2022, Madrigal was interviewed by the FBI about his actions. The affidavit claims that at this time he made numerous false statements.

It was during the FBI’s investigation that agents discovered Madrigal had threatened Victim 1, a former romantic partner, both in-person and also via electronic means, with a series of texts over six months since December 2021.

The texts allegedly threatened her career, family and pets, and included compromising and sexually explicit photos of Victim 1 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 that Madrigal pressured another former romantic partner, referred to in the affidavit as 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 regarding the deletions and Russians and that they had discussed deleting incriminating text messages from his cellphone.

The affidavit claims Madrigal threatened Victim 2 if she didn’t cooperate.

On Aug. 9, 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 on Aug. 12 and later transferred to federal custody to face cyberstalking charges for his conduct involving Victim 1.

According to the affidavit, Madrigal was trained in the use of a variety of weapons and combat tactics, including specialized infantry and sniper training. He had active security clearance issued to him prior to joining JAG.

No hearing date has been set for Madrigal, according to the U.S. District Court records. No charges have been filed regarding contact with the Russian embassy or deletion of JAG training materials or coercion or threats to Victim 2.


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