A Wichita Falls man who posted threats about killing Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and other government leaders has been charged following an investigation by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Gavin Weslee Blake Perry, 27, was charged via criminal complaint with transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce. He made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray on Thursday.
According to the complaint, a concerned citizen notified the Wichita Falls Police Department that Mr. Perry allegedly posted threats on a Facebook account named “Gavinwbperry.”
“If youre a dem or apart of the establishment in the democrats side I view you as a criminal and a terrorist and I advise everyone to Go SOS [shoot on sight] and use live rounds,” he allegedly posted on March 23. “This is not gonna change until we attact NSA the DOJ the FBI and Any other agencies who want to get involved. Shoot to kill. This is a revolution.”
The Speaker “is apart of a satanic cult and so are the people who work closly with her. Dems of the establishment will be removed at any cost necessary and yes that means by death,” he allegedly posted later that same day.
When confronted by law enforcement at the time of his arrest, Mr. Perry admitted that the account belonged to him, and said he wanted to warn Americans to beware of the government, which he stated he believes to be “tyrannical.”
He then stated that the officers were violating his First Amendment right to free speech, a violation he felt was punishable by death. He also stated he intended to bond out of jail and planned to refuse to comply with any order to come to court. He said he does not recognize the authority of the federal government.
“The Department of Justice takes the security of our public servants seriously. Americans are entitled to voice their opinions – but we will not allow them to threaten our officials’ physical safety,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “This defendant’s threats against the Speaker and law enforcement agents are wholly inexcusable, and we look forward to bringing him to justice.”
“The defendant threatened the life of an elected official and that will not be tolerated. The FBI and our law enforcement partners work hard every day to protect our citizens from harm,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “Thank you to our partners at the Wichita Falls Police Department for assisting in this investigation. Thank you as well to the concerned citizen who reported the online threat. We ask that everyone continue to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Perry is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.
The FBI Wichita Falls Resident Agency’s Safe Streets Taskforce and the Wichita Falls Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Capitol Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Boudreau is prosecuting the case.