COVID online threat to Texas grocery stores sends man to federal prison


An online threat in April 2020 that said someone was paid to spread COVID-19 in Texas grocery stores sent a San Antonio man to federal prison for 15 months and fined him $ 1,000 .

Christopher Charles Perez, 40, was convicted in June by a federal jury in the Western District of Texas in San Antonio and was recently convicted.

According to court records, the jury found Perez, aka Christopher Robbins, guilty of two counts of 18 USC § 1038, which criminalizes false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons.

As “Christophe[her Robbins” Perez posted the threat on Facebook. It read: “PSA!! Yo it GROCERY STOREM ERCADO!! My homeboy’s cousin has covid-19 and has licked everything for the past 2 days cause we paid him too { 4 EMOTICONS] the big difference is we told him not to be those fucking idiots who record and post online YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !! GROCERY on nogalitos then 🙂 ”

The post was reported to the FBI via online counseling in early April 5, 2020. A trained weapons of mass destruction officer was assigned to investigate. Perez had previously deleted the post, but it was picked up for the FBI by the San Antonio Fusion Center. A press article is also linked to the article. As a replacement, Perez left this comment: “Lol. I tried to warn you, but my housewife girl changed her mind. Mercado is already, the location of Nogalitos next door.

When questioned by the FBI, Perez admitted he was “Christopher Robbins” and posted the threatening message. He said he was trying to deter people from shopping during the pandemic. Perez was not working because of the COVID lockdowns.

The FBI asked Perez if he was happy his post caused the closure of a single greenery store, he said he was “50/50” on it. His first post lasted 16 minutes before being withdrawn. The second lasted 23 hours.

Grocery store executives said no stores had closed, in part because they didn’t want to trigger a panic and there was no confirmation of the threat.

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Perez posted two threatening messages on Facebook in which he claimed to have paid a person infected with COVID-19 to lick items at grocery stores in the San Antonio area to scare people of visit the stores.


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