DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

FBI Busts Veteran For Online Police Death Threats

Man vowed retribution for "every innocent" killed


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Vets Hunting Cops

DECEMBER 23--A military veteran has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly posting YouTube comments warning that cops would be killed in retaliation for no charges being filed against the Missouri officer who killed Michael Brown, The Smoking Gun has learned.

In a series of posts this month, a group identifying itself as “Vets Hunting Cops” threatened retribution “for every innocent citizen cops kill.” On December 16, the group stated, “join us and kill any cop or any retired cop !!!!!!!”

The comment was flagged by Google and referred last week to the FBI.

A subsequent investigation traced the posting to the Colorado Springs, Colorado home of Jeremiah Perez, 33, who “was a member of the US Armed Forces,” according to a U.S. District Court complaint.

During a December 18 search of his home, Perez (pictured in the above mug shot) reportedly confessed to making the YouTube comment, saying that his “writings became much more violent following the shooting of an unarmed African American man in Ferguson, Missouri.” His YouTube comments, Perez said, were “a way to remain anonymous while posting antagonizing arguments targeting law enforcement,” and were intended to cause fear.

Perez said that he posed as “Vets Hunting Cops” since he “realized that other groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, offer legitimacy to their arguments be being part of a large organization.” Along with threats directed at law enforcement, Perez allegedly wrote that he “cant wait to kill you fake patriots on the right.”

An FBI review of Perez’s computer revealed online searches for “Kill Sara Palin,” “Kill Barack Obama,” and “Find and Kill Darren Wilson.” Other searches involved Fox News, including “Kill Bill O’Reilly,” “Locate Bill O’Reilly’s house,” and “Google Maps for Fox News Headquarters.”  

When questioned about his search history, Perez “claimed that he never intended to follow through with any of the violent acts he was researching,” according to FBI Agent Jon Wayne Cronan.

Perez was named yesterday in a criminal complaint accusing him of making interstate threats, a felony punishable by up to five years in federal prison. Perez is scheduled for a court appearance later this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Denver. (5 pages)