Charges against Buckley dismissed
“I’m greatly relieved,” said Buckley, who was uncharacteristically quiet, deferring all comments to his attorney, Diane Levin.
District Attorney Mark Hurlburt said the charges are likely to be filed again, however, but was unsure when.
“Peter is perfectly willing to cooperate with (prosecutors) in any way they want,” added Levin.
Buckley and his wife, Debbie, operate Vail.com, a home computer business. He was charged in connection with several “spamming” incidents Sept. 6 and 7, 2001, involving Internet and e-mail provider Vail.Net.
Spamming floods an e-mail server with thousands of bogus messages, effectively overwhelming it and knocking it from service. Nearly 20,000 messages were received over three days, causing service for Vail.Net’s 7,600 customers.
Three identical felony computer crime/transmit virus charges were filed against Buckley in December. Those charges carry fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000 and sentences ranging from two to six years.
The dismissal of charges stemmed from a lack of affirmation of the summons issued by the district attorney upon filing of the charges.
In October 2001, officers with the FBI and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office seized 12 computers from Buckley’s home in Wildridge after some of the “spam” messages allegedly showed the Internet address of Buckley’s computer.
Investigators’ reports indicate there may have been some antagonism between Buckley and Vail.Net, a competitor. Buckley had applied for a job with Vail.Net, the reports allege, and became angry with the company when he was not hired.
Since the charges have been filed, there has been turnover at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the District Attorney’s Office. The lead investigator on the case, for example, no longer works for the Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney Mike Goodbee has joined the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.