Manuel Flores, a 42-year-old truck driver from El Paso, Texas allegedly uploaded a video to YouTube where he made a number of threats against demonstrators. The Justice Department later released a statement announcing that he would face one federal charge of making a threat over the internet. He was taken into custody on Monday, outside of Dallas, “without incident,” according to the statement.
“During the video, the defendant is seated visible only from the knees down with what appears to be an AR-15 style rifle resting on the defendant’s feet. Flores stated that he would be traveling on I-20 Eastbound through Dallas on Monday while daring individuals representing Black Lives Matter to ‘stop him,’” the statement adds.
Flores also reportedly alleged in the video that he was hoping to kill as many as 200 people, while also using racial slurs to describe protesters.
“Our office will treat any threats of violence against protesters extremely seriously,” U.S. Attorney John Bash tweeted.
The FBI launched the investigation after someone called in with a tip regarding Flores’ threat. The video was uploaded to YouTube on the account “Don't CA My TX.” The FBI tracked the post to Flores’ phone and then went to his El Paso home around 3 a.m. on Sunday, where Flores confessed that the YouTube account was his.
He told the agents that he had just gotten back to El Paso from making a delivery in Arizona and had consumed eight or nine beers and that he couldn’t recall what he said in the video.
“Flores stated that he loves America and is upset about what is going on right now. However, Flores has no intention of harming anyone but would defend himself if he had to. Flores was remorseful and apologetic to interviewing FBI Special Agents,” the federal criminal complaint stated.
Flores logged into his YouTube account and deleted the video when he was in the FBI's presence. Agents later searched his home and discovered an AR-15 style rifle and ammunition in the bedroom.