A suburban Chicago mother of seven has been accused of encouraging Facebook followers to murder an FBI informant involved in a sting that landed one of her associates in prison for trying to sell semi-automatic rifles stolen from a Chicago freight train.
Iesha Stanciel, 38, now faces federal cyberstalking charges as a result of the threats, according to a federal complaint. She has also been hit with a gun charge after being arrested with an AR 15-type assault rifle stolen from the freight train last September.
Stanciel’s associate, Brian Stafford, allegedly told the FBI informant he had the rifles in his possession just two days after the train heist in which thieves stole six brand new Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifles and 27 pistols from a south side rail yard.
Stafford was then arrested in October 2016, prompting Stanciel to post threatening messages on Facebook regarding the FBI informant. Some of the threats included the informant’s name, according to court documents.
“Snitches get stitches and found in ditches,” Stanciel said in one post, which she followed up with 11 handgun emojis.
Another post included a picture of the informant and urged followers to shoot “his head back.”
Stanciel claimed in a July letter to a federal judge that the posts had been “fantasies” and asked to be released from jail while awaiting trial. The judge denied her request.
It remains unclear if Stanciel and Stafford were directly involved in the actual train heist. Stafford has been hit with illegal gun possession charges, and both have pleaded not guilty.
The 2016 train heist enraged Chicagoans living near the south side rail yard, as it occurred just a year after another crew of thieves stole 111 Ruger pistols from a train parked overnight on the same Norfolk Southern property.
One of the main suspects in the 2015 heist, Andrew Shelton, was sentenced last week to 10 years in federal prison for his involvement. Ten other defendants have been convicted as a result of the investigation into the theft and subsequent sale of the firearms.