ATF agent fearful: Blogger Strom arrested for stalking

news-strom-mugshot2Elisha Strom claims her latest arrest is police intimidation.

The woman who spent a month in jail for publishing the address of an undercover officer has been arrested again, this time for allegedly stalking an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent since February 2008, according to the complaint.

Elisha Strom, 35, was arrested August 30 in Charlottesville on a charge she believes was filed to intimidate her and shut down her I HeArTE JADE blog.

"I'm absolutely denying the charge," says Strom. "I haven't even laid eyes on the man in over a year."

ATF Agent John Stoltz filed the class 1 misdemeanor stalking complaint in Greene County on August 24 for events that took place between February 16, 2008, and August 17, 2010. In the complaint, he asserts that Strom published his photo, a photograph of his car, license plate, residence, and the distance from the JADE office to his home.

He quotes Strom from past bloggings about the activities of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force: "If law enforcement officers who work at JADE didn't want to put their lives and families at risk, they should have obtained different jobs." And he says that Strom fired a handgun at unknown persons in 2007.

Strom, who gained notoriety in 2007 for testifying against her white-supremacist husband in a witness intimidation case, says the handgun incident was purely defensive after someone fired at her, but Stoltz alleges that she's a potential menace.

"Do [sic] to Strom's postings, I fear she or someone viewing the website will locate and kill or harm me and/or my family," writes Stoltz in his complaint.

"This is very unusual," says legal expert David Heilberg. "I have never seen anyone put a two-and-a-half-year range of events for stalking."

If, as Strom claims, the photos on her website are old, one could argue the charge is stale and exceeds the one-year statute of limitations on misdemeanors, Heilberg says. On the other hand, he adds, "Those photos are her own proof that she was following him."

And if she was following Stoltz without his knowledge and causing fear–- hence the relevance of the 2007 handgun incident–- "A judge is going to want to protect a police officer and won't say the First Amendment trumps protecting a police officer," says Heilberg. "What they're really trying to do is shut down her website."

According to iHeArTe JADE, ATF agents in four cars came to see her July 28 about her alleged stalking of Agent Stoltz. "They had four guys from Washington come by–- it's clearly intimidation," Strom says.

Neither the ATF agent who left his number with Strom, which is posted on her blog, nor Stoltz returned phone calls from the Hook.

news-john-stoltzElisha Strom posted ATF Special Agent John Stolz's photo on her website July 4, 2009.

Strom also complains that the Charlottesville detectives who arrested her erased the recording she made of the arrest and confiscated her laptop, cellphone, camera, GPS, scanner power cord, and camera card–- all without a search warrant.

"My lawyer says it's an illegal search," she says.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo did not return a phone call from the Hook.

Strom contends that Stoltz went "magistrate shopping" to find someone to issue a warrant for the alleged stalking. Magistrates in Orange and Albemarle refused to comment on that allegation, but the magistrate in Orange, who declined to give her name, says Orange handles complaints and issues warrants for Greene County, which issued the complaint. Greene Sheriff's Major Randall Snead had not returned a call from the Hook at press time.

Strom was arrested last year for publishing the address of an officer, a class 6 felony. The ACLU said such a law is unconstitutional, and offered to defend Strom. Despite that backing, she pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor, and was ordered to stay away from JADE. Strom was arrested in March for allegedly violating that order, and goes back to court September 22 on that charge.

Her blog led to a Delegate Rob Bell bill that allows law enforcement officers to petition courts to get their personal information, such as property records, which both Charlottesville and Albemarle post, removed from online government records.

Strom is out on $3,000 bond, and will be in court in Greene County September 8. And she's convinced she's being "deliberately targeted," she says.

"I have never, ever threatened anyone," says Strom. "It's ridiculous. In no way have I ever threatened [Stoltz] or even gestured at him. These guys are a bunch of cupcakes."


Mike, law enforcement agencies in Central Virginia are just as bad as the BATF. Any time somebody passes some of these clowns out here in traffic or looks at them crosseyed, they scream STALKING! A claim of stalking by a cop is often used as a retalitory and vindictive measure by which to strike out at people they simply don't like.

I still wonder how a person STALKS a grown man with a badge and gun! It would have embarrassed me to death if any of the sheriffs or command staff I worked for over 3 decades had ever shouted out that somebody was stalking me.

The only thing that is ironic is how unbelievably obsessed she is with cops.

@rar - it's not the agent's background that makes it ironic - it's the agency he works for. The BATFE has a long history of alleged abuses and civil rights violations. Google it. The fact that they supposedly showed up in force at this woman's house doesn't surprise me one bit.

It's is my personal opinion that the ATF has long been an agency out of control in this country. I draw no conclusions regarding this specific agent - I don't know him. However, there is plenty of reading on the BATFE out there. Therein lies the irony.

Leave the lady alone!! Its a waste of tax payers money to continue to pester her! She has the right to say what she wants to! Do your job and go get the real bad guys! Like meth dealers and heroin dealers! Leave the lady be!

Oy veh.

Mr Malloy asked 'How is the fact that she shot at ââ?¬Å?unknown persons” in 2007 of any relevance to her behavior regarding Stoltz from 2008-2010?' Maybe it's because she exhibits unstable and violent tendencies. She was a federal witness at the time and was not prosecuted for admittedly firing at people in a residential neighborhood. She apparently started her stalking when a relationship with a cop went bad.

I like her hair. But she should smile more.

Re ââ?¬Å?Someone needs to own up” ...true.

If you can believe her own blog, Strom's slept with numerous cops and agents and then later turned on at least one of them and tried to get revenge with this weird behavior. Maybe it was the same with her claims about her husband, just revenge.

Maybe SAYING she slept with some of them is part of the weird behavior, but there must be SOME fire making all this smoke.

I would feel VERY uncomfortable if she was following me every day, especially if she was an ex, which thank God she isn't.

"Someone needs to own up"

I was thinking the same thing.

@Carter M: Yeah, whatever her ex Kevin Strom says MUST be true. He is the epitome of the "credible witness"!


I find it ironic that an ATF agent is complaining that he is somehow being harassed by this woman.

Funny too - several years ago my family was being harassed by some neighborhood youths. Every day - for nearly a year - verbal harassment, vandalism, standing in front of my house taking pictures - I could go on. It was IMO harassment.

After calling Johhny Law God knows how many times, the officer finally just told me that legally all I could do was continue to be a victim. Even if they kids were caught red-handed, at 13 or 14 years old nothing would happen anyway. The officer then warned ME that I had better not do anything!

So it seems that when the tables are turned, the game is different.

I've been reading this blog for well over a year, and love it. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that she is very careful about posting info that the public can get on their own.
It also seems to me that she never bashes them, or tries to even find faults.
Not to mention, by continuing to file charges, and get into the news-the officers are just bringing more attention TO the blog, and to themselves! It's like those Chinese finger trap things-the more you fight it, the tighter the grip gets. You guys just feed into her, just like she wants. You charge her-she gets more material for her blog... I wonder how many more people googled Stoltz after articles like this?

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These police officers are supposed to be we wouldn't be able to google them since we dont know their names. Why would anyone want to put them or their families in harms way by publishing names and addresses? What good does that serve the public? Sounds like an unstable woman with a grudge....and until you have someone harrassing you or stalking you in a persitant and personal manner, you can't understand how it effects your well matter what your profession or training may be.

Mike, the next time you need advice in a very bad situation, go to the Magistrate's Office and speak with a magistrate. Don't rely on anything these new rookies out here tell you.

Yeah, she sure looks vewy, vewy, Scawy!

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"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live�did live, from habit that became instinct�in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."
George Orwell, "1984"

Sheesh... here we go again...

Why are the police officers records not protected already?

Seems to me that is something that could have been accomplished in the normal course of the legislative seesion like 20 years ago. Whats to debate?

If they feel they must post the records publicly then they should also be able to keep a record of who searched them.

4 atf cars with agents.... sounds like they wasted enough money to keep the beaches open through labor day in a single afternoon.

I wonder how many drug deals went down during that time in C-ville.

Here's what her husband says about her, from his website

"My troubled and estranged wife Elisha has committed many acts of violence against me. I was an abused spouse. She has threatened to kill me, and I have documentation[9] of those threats. She has used threats and coercion to force me to give her money and property and to sign documents under duress. She is both dangerous and delusional.

"[9] (For one example, see documentation of her clearly audible physical aggression, anger, and threats toward me captured when she attacked me during a recording session for my radio program in 2006, downloadable at The source of her rage in this case was my suggestion that she seek additional help for her anger problem.)

"She has accused me of having sexual liaisons with my ex-wife, with professional colleagues, with correspondents from halfway across the continent whom I’ve never met, with two teenage musicians whose work I’ve promoted, with my stepdaughter, with my stepdaughter’s friends, with cashiers at the local grocery store, with neighbors ââ?¬â? I literally cannot remember them all. My denials engendered more accusations, more anger, more violence. At Elisha’s hands I’ve suffered innumerable bruises, cuts, including a laceration that sent me to the hospital to get eight stitches, and permanent damage to my vision. My ill-advised attempts to placate and appease her[10] made things even worse."

Gas Bag,

I am not Very Old Timer. I am Old Timer. Not long after I stated commenting on Hook, Very Old Timer showed up. I guess they liked my handle.

very old timer: Here, a police officer with the full power of the law to protect himself, is having some woman arrested for annoying him. If she were doing something to his family? Ok. But to him?

The affadavit is worded in such a manner as to get around your train of thought, Very Old Timer. Stoltz claims in the affadavit that someone viewing Strom's web site my harm him or his family. You can bet this was very clearly thought out before the warrant was applied for. This brings us right back to the motive, IMHO... they want the web site shut down.

Truthfully, I expected more of Stoltz. Like all law enforcement officers, Stoltz knows darn well that anybody out to find him or his family can do so easily, with or without Strom's help.

high possibility and probability jade task force knows something about Morgan Harrington disappearance and murder ...

says Heilberg. ââ?¬Å?What they’re really trying to do is shut down her website.”

Heilberg is 100% right, IMHO. All they are trying to accomplish is having her dismantle her JADE web site. If this latest "arrest" doesn't do the trick, we will see Round 3 early in 2011.

You know if my daughter had problems with a stalker, nothing would happen to them until they committed acts of violence against her and her property a few times. Then they might put in a restraining order. It will take more for them to finally arrest someone for stalking her.

Here, a police officer with the full power of the law to protect himself, is having some woman arrested for annoying him. If she were doing something to his family? Ok. But to him?

Sorry. No dice. Even if the woman is a fruit cake, she still has rights as a citizen.

Now watch all the right wing flakes jump up and down and say we need to respect authority while they claim to support the US Constitution.

hmm... took me 3 seconds to find his address online and another six seconds to google map the address. would have been quicker, but i was eating an apple using my typing hand.

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(ââ?¬Å?Do [sic] to Strom’s postings, I fear she or someone viewing the website will locate and kill or harm me and/or my family,” writes Stoltz in his complaint.)

Apparently these undercover police officers write on a 8th grade level.

I'm not real familiar with the background of this case, but this whole thing stinks to high heaven. What is the point of her website? (I'm a little apprehensive about visiting it myself) Does she just have beef with JADE? Did she get busted by JADE?

"ATF Agent John Stoltz filed the class 1 misdemeanor complaint for stalking in Greene County on August 24 for events that took place between February 16, 2008, and August 17, 2010."
How is the fact that she shot at "unknown persons" in 2007 of any relevance to her behavior regarding Stoltz from 2008-2010?

Someone needs to own up: Which law enforcement officer slept with Elisha Strom?

You'd think the guy would get his number unpublished and have his information removed from all the internet phone books if he was so worried (yes, I found it too, but I'm not going to travel to Virginia for any reason. Fear me not.). And, if he was so worried, why did he wait so freakin long to go to the courts? Surely, he'd been notified of his photo and his car's photo being posted way back when.

When I read the stalking statute, it has all sorts of stuff about the "accused" making a threat blah blah blah, but there's nothing about loosely connecting something the accused *may* have done years ago toward someone else.

Was she cited or arrested for this alleged shooting incident?

She REALLY needs to hook up with the ACLU.

Anywho, if the detectives who arrested her really did tinker with her stuff, I don't think any of the "evidence" would be considered evidence anymore. This might turn out to be one of those too bad so sad situations for the accusation maker.