A feud between neighbors has left one man facing prison after he hacked his neighbor's WiFi connection and sent a threatening e-mail to Vice President Joe Biden.
Animosity between neighbors has a Minnesota
man facing the possibility of decades behind bars after he pleaded guilty to
impersonating his neighbor online, distributing child pornography and
threatening the vice president of the United
Vincent Ardolf of Blaine, Minn.,
stopped his trial Dec. 17 and confessed to hacking into his neighbor's wireless
Internet connection to hide his identity while he committed a number of crimes.
Ardolf pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count
each of possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography,
unauthorized access to a protected computer and making threats against Vice
President Joe Biden.
According to authorities, Ardolf
into his neighbor's WiFi connection in February of 2009
and creating multiple Yahoo e-mail accounts in his neighbor's name. Then, on May 6, 2009, he used one of
those accounts to e-mail Biden's office. The e-mail read:
"This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you
people are spending money you don't have. ... I'm assigning myself to be judge
jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don't have it's time
to pay the ultimate price. Time for new officials after you all are put to
death by us. ..."
According to authorities, the e-mail was also sent to the governor of Minnesota
and a U.S.
senator from the state. The message went on to threaten those officials
and stated they would each be killed one at a time, with the first by June
1. Ardolf then signed the e-mail with the name of his neighbor and his
neighbor's wife in the hopes the message would be traced back to them.
report in the Pioneer Press
identified Ardolf's neighbors as Minneapolis
attorney Matthew Kostolnik and his wife Bethany. According to the report,
Ardolf's rage was triggered in August of 2008 after the couple accused him
of kissing their 4-year-old son and called the police. Though
officers questioned Ardolf, no charges were filed related to the incident.
In addition to the threatening e-mail, Ardolf also confessed to
sending sexual e-mails to Matthew Kostolnik's co-workers with the accounts
he created, including one with a pornographic image of a child. Ardolf
went on to create a MySpace page using Kostolnik's name and
posting the same image.
When he is sentenced, Ardolf faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison
on the child porn distribution charge; 10 years on the child porn possession
charge; and five years on both the unauthorized access to a computer and
threats to the vice president charges. He also faces a mandatory two-year
minimum on each count of aggravated identity theft.