Sending spam emails gets Indiana man 27 months in federal prison

(Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An Indiana man has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for helping send millions of illegal spam messages to U.S. and international cellphones and computers.

Thirty-one-year-old Phillip Fleitz of Indianapolis was ordered Monday in Pittsburgh to begin serving the term immediately.

Two other men were placed on probation in the case, and Fleitz’s defense attorney contended that prison would be overkill in light of those sentences.

But prosecutors said Fleitz originated the scheme, was already on probation for driving under the influence and has failed drug tests since his arrest.

Fleitz was one of a dozen U.S. residents charged with marketing illegal computer skills on a cybercriminal marketplace disabled by the FBI in July. Seventy people in the U.S. and 19 other countries were targeted in that takedown.

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