San Antonio man sentenced to 5 years in prison for threatening conservative conference

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A San Antonio man was sentenced in federal court to 60 months in prison for making a credible public threat targeting a mass populated event in Florida.

According to court documents, Alejandro Richard Velasquez Gomez, 20, posted a message on his public social media profile threatening a “day of retribution” at the Turning Point USA-hosted conference Student Action Summit.

Velasquez had a ticket to the event, as well as a flight booked from Austin to Tampa, Florida, where the SAS conference was being held from July 22 to July 24, 2022. The U.S. Secret Service and Tampa Police Department were notified of the threat, which led to Tampa PD obtaining a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.

Velasquez pleaded guilty May 16, 2023, to the federal charge of interstate threatening communication.

“This man used social media to broadcast the message that he intended to travel across the country and carry out a violent act at an event catering to young political activists,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “Fortunately, his post was reported to officials who intervened, and this case can serve as a reminder to everyone that, at all levels of law enforcement, we take threats of violence very seriously. Those who violate these laws risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

In addition to targeting the SAS conference, Velasquez stalked and harassed a young woman for many months prior, continuing to do so even in pre-trial detention. Velasquez also attempted to obstruct the FBI’s investigation, using a group of minor girls to help him by deleting information from his online accounts and contacting witnesses to hide evidence and influence testimony.

“American citizens deserve to be able to gather without worrying about threats of violence,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tapp for the FBI San Antonio Field Office. “We’re grateful for the people who reported his threats to authorities and encourage others to contact the authorities if they see similar threats.”

The FBI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Stephenson prosecuted the case.

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