ALPINE – on the 28th April Mark Richard Walters, 51, of Austin pleaded guilty to internet stalking and illegally possessing a firearm.

According to court documents, on March 18, 2021, Big Bend National Park Rangers responded to a threatening verbal altercation between Walters and a park employee at the Panther Junction Visitor Center.  When Rangers encountered Walters they found him in possession of a firearm and a loaded magazine.  A criminal history check revealed Walters was previously convicted of a felony offense.  Further investigation revealed Walters was the subject of a stalking investigation in Austin.  From February 19 to 21, 2021, Walters sent emails of sexually explicit photos of a victim to the victim’s acquaintances to harass the victim.  When agents arrested Walters they discovered the laptop used to send the emails.

Walters pleaded guilty to one count of internet stalking and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.  He faces up to 10 years in prison on the firearm charge and up to five years in prison on the stalking charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and FBI Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. made the announcement.

The FBI Austin Cyber Task Force, with valuable assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Big Bend National Park Service; and Austin Police Department, is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy L. Greenbaum is prosecuting the case.