RENO, Nev. — Keith Leroy Moreno, 27, of Reno, made his initial court appearance today for allegedly destroying federal property on May 30, 2020, in Reno, following a protest relating to George Floyd’s death, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI, and U.S. Marshal Gary Schofield for the U.S. Marshals Service.
“Our office is committed to protecting the First Amendment right to peacefully protest and demonstrate,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “But violence, destruction, and vandalism, including damage to federal property such as courthouses, will not be tolerated.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Rouse stated: “The FBI’s mission is to uphold the Constitution, which includes freedom of speech and the right to assemble. We will continue working with our federal, state and local partners to ensure individuals who destroy parts of our city will be held accountable.”
As alleged in court documents, in the late evening of May 30, 2020, Moreno threw a cigarette receptacle (weighing about 23 pounds) and two rocks through the first floor windows of the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Courthouse, located at 400 South Virginia Street in Reno. Moreno broke three of the courthouse’s windows.
Subsequently, Moreno allegedly boasted about having thrown the receptacle through a courthouse window on May 30. In addition, Moreno allegedly bragged that law enforcement was not smart enough to find him and claimed that, if there was further civil unrest or rioting, “I’d go right back to it.”
Moreno was arrested on Wednesday, July 1, and he had his initial appearance via video conference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes of the Eastern District of California.
If convicted, Moreno faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for destruction of government property. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Brady is prosecuting the case.