Story at a glance

  • A San Antonio man on Monday was sentenced to more than a year in prison for claiming on social media that he paid someone with COVID-19 to go to area grocery stores and lick products.
  • Perez said the two messages he posted on Facebook were meant to deter people from shopping.
  • Perez was sentenced to 15 months and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

A San Antonio man on Monday was sentenced to more than a year in prison for claiming on social media that he paid someone with COVID-19 to go to area grocery stores and lick products. 

A federal jury found 40-year-old Christopher Charles Perez guilty on two counts criminalizing false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons, according to a Department of Justice news release.

Perez said the two messages he posted on Facebook were meant to deter people from shopping as he believed there were too many people at grocery stores. An FBI investigation determined that the threats were a hoax. 

"My homeboys cousin has covid19 and has licked every thing for past 2 days cause we paid him too [sic]. Big difference is we told him not to be these f------ idiots who record and post online. . .YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!.” Perez posted on Facebook according to court documents viewed by NBC News

Perez was sentenced to 15 months and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. 

“Trying to scare people with the threat of spreading dangerous diseases is no joking matter,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “This office takes seriously threats to harm the community and will prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”


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“Those who would threaten to use COVID-19 as a weapon against others will be held accountable for their actions, even if the threat was a hoax,” FBI San Antonio Division Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs added. 

“Perez’s actions were knowingly designed to spread fear and panic and today’s sentencing illustrates the seriousness of this crime,” he said. “The FBI would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their help in this case.”


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Published on Oct 06, 2021