Photo/logo courtesy El Paso FBI
Friday morning, officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in El Paso released a statement from Special Agent in Charge Luis Quesada regarding their efforts in the wake of the insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol last week.
Below is SAC Quesada’s complete statement:
The FBI El Paso Division is using all of our investigative resources, to include human source information, as well as advanced
technical and scientific tools, to identify the perpetrators of the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week, January 6, 2021. Our agents and analysts have been gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors toward bringing appropriate charges.
FBI El Paso is also establishing a command post to gather intelligence and coordinate with our local and state partners on potential threats. We also have special agents, bomb technicians, the FBI Evidence Response Team, tactical teams, intelligence teams, and others to support investigations and counter any potential threat of violence to federal buildings and our shared community.
This is all part of the effort to ensure the safety of our communities. We are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that were involved in the siege of the Capitol and/or continue to incite violence and engage in criminal activity here locally.
The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.
At this time, the FBI has not received any specific and substantiated threat to the FBI El Paso Area of Responsibility (AOR), which includes El Paso, Midland/Odessa, and Alpine, or other government buildings in our area. However, we are working together with our law enforcement partners to continuously share information based on tips submitted by the public.
Between now and the presidential inauguration on January 20, we will be maintaining a heightened posture to monitor for any emerging threats to the region.
With that in mind, we are urging people to call 915-832-5000 or go to tips.fbi.gov to submit tips regarding potential violence at any upcoming protest or event.
If you know of an immediate emergency, please call 911.
We cannot be successful without the help of the American people as we work to fulfill our mission: protect the American people and uphold the U.S. Constitution.
The FBI’s statement comes after a Wednesday release by U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer and FBI Special Agent in Charge Luis M. Quesada announcing the arrest of an El Pasoan – 49-year-old Michael Reyes – for allegedly posting threats on a social media platform.
According to officials, the indictment alleges that Reyes “transmitted threatening communications between December 12, 2020 and December 14, 2020. Court records reflect that on December 14, 2020, the FBI received a report that a Parler user posted comments advocating murder and terrorism aimed at federal government officials and other individuals.”
The indictment charges Reyes with one count of interstate communication with threat to injure and he remains in federal custody since FBI agents arrested him on December 18, 2020.
Officials add that, upon conviction, Reyes faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.