Four New Hampshire men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston for their roles in a conspiracy to harass and intimidate two journalists employed by New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR). The alleged harassment and intimidation of the victims included the vandalism – on five separate occasions – of the victims’ homes and the home of one of the victims’ parents with bricks, large rocks and red spray paint.
The following defendants were indicted for conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and/or the use of a facility of interstate commerce:
- Eric Labarge, 46, of Nashua, N.H.;
- Tucker Cockerline, 32, of Salem, N.H.;
- Michael Waselchuck, 35, of Seabrook, N.H.; and
- Keenan Saniatan, 36, of Nashua, N.H.
Labarge was arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Boston this afternoon. Cockerline, Saniatan and Waselchuck were previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint on June 16, 2023 and remain in custody.
According to the indictment, after a year-long investigation, an NHPR journalist (Victim 1) published an article in March 2022 detailing allegations of sexual and other misconduct by a former New Hampshire businessperson, identified in the charging document as Subject 1. Another NHPR journalist (Victim 2) also contributed to the article, which appeared on NHPR’s website during and after March 2022. In response to this reporting, Labarge – who is alleged to be a close personal associate of Subject 1 – Saniatan, Cockerline and Waselchuck allegedly agreed to harass and intimidate Victims 1 and 2 and their immediate family members. Among other things, the indictment alleges that:
- On or about April 22, 2022, Labarge solicited Cockerline to vandalize Victim 1’s former residence in Hanover, N.H., using a brick and red spray paint. Thereafter, on the evening of April 24, 2022, Cockerline allegedly spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on the front door and allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of the home;
- On or about April 22, 2022, Saniatan allegedly agreed to vandalize Victim 2’s home in Concord, N.H., and Victim 1’s parents’ home in Hampstead, N.H., using large rocks and red spray paint. Thereafter, on the evening of April 24, 2022, Saniatan allegedly spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on the front door and threw a large rock at the exterior of Victim 2’s home; and he allegedly threw a softball-sized rock through a front exterior window and spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on one of the garage doors of Victim 1’s parents’ home;
- On or about May 18, 2022, Labarge allegedly solicited Cockerline to vandalize Victim 1’s parents’ home in Hampstead, N.H., and Victim 1’s home in Melrose, Mass., using bricks and red spray paint. Cockerline, in turn, allegedly recruited Waselchuck to vandalize Victim 1’s residence; and
- Thereafter, on the evening of May 20, 2022, Cockerline allegedly spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on one of the garage doors of Victim 1’s parents’ home, and left a brick on the ground near the front door. Several hours later, Waselchuck allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of Victim 1’s home and painted the phrase “JUST THE BEGINNING” in large red letters on the front of the house.
Each charge in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Concord, Hampstead and Hanover, New Hampshire Police Departments, the Melrose, Massachusetts Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason A. Casey and Torey B. Cummings of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.