As the result of an investigation by the METRO NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S Specialized Investigations Division and the FBI, a federal criminal complaint was issued Wednesday charging Eric Swarbrick, 26, of Austin, Texas, with interstate stalking and sending interstate communications with the intent to threaten involving Taylor Swift's Nashville record label.
"Too often, we have seen the consequences of ignoring signs of escalating violent behavior by some individuals," said Middle Tennessee United States Attorney Don Cochran. "The attention given to this matter by our law enforcement partners and the resulting federal charges we have brought should serve to prevent a future tragic event."
According to the complaint, in January 2018, Big Machine Label Group ("BMLG") in Nashville, began receiving letters from Swarbrick expressing his desire for BMLG CEO Scott Borchetta to introduce him to BMLG client Taylor Swift. In one letter, Swarbrick acknowledges that he has been wandering around the offices of BMLG in the past. Over time, the letters became increasingly violent and sexual in nature, with at least 40 letters and emails being received by BMLG.
The complaint alleges that on three occasions, Swarbrick drove from Texas to Nashville and personally delivered letters to BMLG, including on August 2, 2018, at which time he was arrested by the MNPD on a charge of harassment. A judicial commissioner set Swarbrick's bond at $2,500 and he was released the same day under a pre-trial release program. After being released from custody in Nashville, Swarbrick continued to send at least 13 threatening letters and emails before the end of August. In many of the letters, Swarbrick expressed his desire to rape and kill Taylor Swift and in one he stated he would kill himself in front of Borchetta and his staff. Swarbrick failed to appear at his scheduled August 24 Nashville court date on the harassment charge.
Swarbrick is currently detained in Travis County, Texas, and will be transferred to the Middle District of Tennessee at an undetermined date in the future.
If convicted, Swarbrick faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Siji Moore is prosecuting the case.