(FreedomBeacon.com)- Last week a judge sentenced a San Antonio Texas man to more than a year behind bars for perpetrating a COVID-related threat on Facebook during the early weeks of the pandemic.
On April 5, 2020, Christopher Charles Perez, 40, claimed on Facebook that he had paid a COVID-infected man to lick items at San Antonio grocery stores in order to spread coronavirus to others. That same day, a screenshot of the threat was submitted as an online tip to the Southwest Texas Fusion Center which then contacted the San Antonio field office of the FBI.
Perez was quickly tracked down and arrested by the FBI. During questioning, Perez admitted to investigators that his Facebook post was a hoax. He told them that he had become concerned about COVID spreading because too many people were defying stay-at-home orders in order to go grocery shopping. So he posted this hoax hoping to scare people into staying home in order to stop the virus from spreading.
In short, Christopher Charles Perez is a COVID Karen on steroids.
In his April 2020 Facebook post, Perez claimed that his “homeboy’s cousin” had COVID-19 and he and his “homeboy” paid him to lick “everything for the past 2 days.” Perez said that unlike those who film themselves licking groceries and posting it online, they told the guy not to film himself. Then he added, “YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!”
The Trump Justice Department released a statement saying that Perez’s threat was false and he didn’t actually pay anyone to spread coronavirus at grocery stores. But the false threat itself was still a felony.
Perez was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1038, which criminalizes false information and hoaxes related to weapons of mass destruction.
It’s a shame they couldn’t charge him with felony stupidity while they were at it.
A federal jury found Perez guilty on two counts of criminalizing false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons. And last Monday, the judge sentenced Perez to fifteen months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
After the sentencing, Christopher Combs, the FBI Special Agent in Charge in San Antonio said in a statement that Perez’s Facebook post was “knowingly designed to spread fear and panic.” Combs said that the sentencing “illustrates the seriousness of this crime.”