According to court documents, Emmanuel Quinones, 25, posted on Facebook on May 28, “Gonna get some more of these to off racists and MAGA people.”
“MAGA” stands for “Make America Great Again.” It was Trump’s campaign slogan.
Quinones issued the threat in a comment on another post about a certain type of firearm.
The threat came several hours after the Lubbock, Texas, man wrote: “While a race riot erupted in Minneapolis the president literally retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat. These people are PUSHING for America to rip itself to shreds. Disgusting. I’ll tell you right now if you keep provoking regular people we’ll make sure you never cross that line ever again. I guarantee it. #MountUp.”
Two days later, Quinones appeared in Lubbock across the street from a Black Lives Matter protest over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Quinones was holding a rifle in a firing position with the muzzle pointed towards the ground, according to court documents, which included a photograph of the man with the rifle.
Texas is an open-carry state but it is illegal to display a firearm in a public place “in a manner calculated to alarm,” according to state law.
When police officers saw the crowd of protesters begin to panic, they took action to stop Quinones’s “breach of the peace,” the documents stated.
Quinones refused to comply with demands to drop the rifle, only dropping it when a Lubbock Police Department office drew his pistol.
A protester then tackled Quinones, who was soon taken into custody along with the protester.
The protester, identified as 36-year-old Ezequiel Cantu Valderas, was charged with assault.
While being arrested, Quinones shouted words to the effect of, “This is a revolution” and “President Trump must die.”
An FBI agent and Secret Service agents interviewed the man the next day. He admitted to making the Facebook posts. He said he made them to “intimidate” Trump and his supporters.
Quinones said he went to the protest to protect protesters from counter-protesters.
“Quinones stated that if counter-protesters had shown up at the protest, then he would have used his rifle to shoot them and protect the protesters,” the FBI agent’s affidavit stated. “Quinones claimed that [police] would not have been able to identify the Trump/MAGA instigators, but that he could have.”
Law enforcement officials found approximately 800 rounds of ammunition in Quinones’s residence as well as a pistol.
Quinones pleaded guilty to interstate threatening communications.
He now faces up to 5 years in federal prison.
The public defender representing Quinones declined to comment.