Tensions are high enough between citizens and law-enforcement agencies without anonymous online posters getting in on the act. On December 17, Google contacted the FBI's San Francisco office to report what it considered a threat: a comment advocating killing police officers by someone using the name "Vets Hunting Cops." The FBI traced the IP address to Colorado Springs, where 33-year-old Jeremiah M. Perez was arrested earlier this week. See also: The Eight 2014 Inductees Into Colorado's Hall of Shame
According to the warrant executed by the FBI and the Colorado Springs Police Department, Perez allegedly posted a threat that stated, in part, "SINCE DARREN WILSON our group has killed 6 retired sheriffs and cops......because of this event we will hunt two more in colorado this week.....for every innocent citizen that cops kill WE, VETERANS WILL KILL RETIRED HELPLESS COPS." The threat further said, "COPS ARE THE REAL ENEMIES OF FREEDOM LOVING AMERICANS and TIME TO STRIKE BACK IN ALL OUT WAR IS NOW."
A forensic examination of Perez's computer confirmed that the post in question, along with other postings, had come from his device. "If you threaten to kill - or incite others to kill -- police officers, you will get some very serious attention from this office, the FBI, and other appropriate authorities," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh in announcing the arrest.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Those who threaten the lives of law enforcement officers through interstate communications will be fully investigated by the FBI and our partners," added FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. "The perceived anonymity of the Internet will not serve as a shield for espousing violence in violation of federal law."
If convicted of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce, Perez faces up to five years in federal prison, and not more than a $250,000 fine; he has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday, December 29. But in the meantime, we've already found him guilty of extreme schmuckery.
Have a tip? Send it to email@example.com.