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December 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Ex-UW student convicted of cyberstalking deported to India

A former University of Washington student from India has been deported after he was convicted of cyberstalking for making threats on social media to carry out a campus shooting, federal authorities announced Friday.

Keshav Mukund Bhide, 24, departed on an international flight Wednesday afternoon from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport under the watch of special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI, according to a news release issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Bhide, who was deported by ICE and HSI, cannot return to the U.S. for 10 years.

He was arrested in June and charged in federal court with making interstate threats. According to court documents, Bhide threatened to seriously injure or kill women at the University of Washington and other women.

Bhide posted comments on several YouTube videos related to Elliot Rodger, the man who killed six people and then himself near the University of California, Santa Barbara, on May 23, according to court documents.

Some of Bhide’s comments were posted only a few days after the June 5 shootings at Seattle Pacific University that left one student dead and two wounded.

In postings under the Google username “Foss Dark,” Bhide defended Rodger’s actions, and in one comment on June 9 said, “I live in seattle and go to UW, that’s all ill give u. Ill make sure I kill only women, and many more than Elliot accomplished [sic]”

The FBI and University of Washington police began investigating Bhide after the June 9 post. During an interview after his arrest, Bhide told agents he sympathized with Rodger and that he thought it was unfair for creators of the videos to judge Rodger’s actions, according to court documents. He told agents that he, like Rodger, had few friends and difficulty socializing.

Bhide also was charged in King County Superior Court, where he was convicted of cyberstalking Dec. 11 and sentenced to a six-month suspended term, according to the ICE news release.

In an agreement with federal prosecutors, a federal indictment charging Bhide with interstate threats will be dismissed after his departure from the United States, the news release said.

In October, the UW notified HSI’s  Student and Exchange Visitor Program that Bhide’s student status had been terminated. HSI special agents began removal proceedings and on Dec. 18 an immigration judge ordered the action.

If Bhide re-enters the U.S. in the next 10 years, or attempts to do so, federal prosecutors may refile the federal charges against him, according to the news release.

Comments | More in General news, Government, The Blotter | Topics: cyberstalking, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, University of Washington

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