A guy from Texas has been sentenced to 15 months in federal jail just after lying on social media.
San Antonio resident Christopher Charles Perez, also known as Christopher Robbins, posted two messages on Fb in April 2020 in which he falsely claimed to have hired a individual infected with COVID-19 to lick objects on display screen at grocery stores.
Perez, who is aged 40, reported in the messages that items for sale in numerous shops in the San Antonio location had been licked.
The US Attorney’s Business for the Western District of Texas reported Perez posted the “threatening” messages “to scare individuals absent from traveling to the merchants.”
On April 5, 2020, a screenshot of the very first message posted by Perez was sent to the Southwest Texas Fusion Centre (SWTFC) by means of an on the web tip. SWTFC then contacted the FBI office environment in San Antonio, which investigated the subject and identified the threats made by Perez to be untrue.
“Perez did not pay back a person to deliberately unfold coronavirus at grocery shops, in accordance to investigators and Perez’s individual admissions,” stated the US Attorney’s Place of work in a statement released Oct 4.
Pursuing the FBI investigation into his social media posts, Perez was billed with two counts of 18 U.S.C. § 1038, which criminalizes bogus details and hoaxes associated to biological weapons.
A federal jury observed him guilty of the rates, and on Monday Perez was handed a custodial sentence and ordered to pay back a $1,000 fine.
“Those who would threaten to use COVID-19 as a weapon against other individuals will be held accountable for their actions, even if the risk was a hoax,” claimed FBI San Antonio Division Unique Agent in Cost Christopher Combs. “Perez’s steps were being knowingly designed to distribute anxiety and worry, and today’s sentencing illustrates the seriousness of this crime.”
US Legal professional Ashley Hoff claimed that “striving to scare men and women with the menace of spreading risky disorders is no joking subject.”
She included: “This office environment will take severely threats to damage the neighborhood and will prosecute them to the whole extent of the legislation.”
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