A federal judge today sentenced an El Paso man to 21 months in federal prison for posting a threatening communication over the internet, announced U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer and FBI Special Agent in Charge Luis M. Quesada, El Paso Division.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ordered that 43-year-old Manuel Flores be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term. Flores has remained in federal custody since FBI agents arrested him in Dallas on June 15, 2020.
On October 14, 2020, Flores pleaded guilty to transmitting a threatening communication. By pleading guilty, Flores admitted that in June 2020 he recorded and uploaded a video to YouTube entitled “N—– Lives Matter” in which he made threatening comments to Black Lives Matter protestors. During the video, Flores is seated and visible only from the knees down with what appears to be an AR-15 style rifle resting on his feet. Flores stated that in two days he would be travelling on I-20 Eastbound through Dallas while daring individuals representing Black Lives Matter to “stop him.” Flores further stated that “my dream is at least … take out at least 200 n——.”
“During this time of polarized political discord, peaceful protest is an important right that must be safeguarded and those who threaten to harm others, commit acts of violence, destroy property or attack law enforcement must be held accountable for their criminal behavior,” said U.S. Attorney Sofer. “Now more than ever we must respect the rule of law. The United States Attorney’s Office, along with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue those who refuse to do so. Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to anyone who would choose to threaten or harm others – you will be federally prosecuted and sent to federal prison.”
The FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Hanna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.