Two Puerto Rican Men Sentenced for Federal Hate Crime Against a Latina Transgender Woman and Obstruction of Justice Charges
The Justice Department today announced that Gerald Wallace, 35, was indicted by a federal grand jury on a hate crime charge for obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by threatening to shoot members of a mosque in Miami Gardens, Florida.
According to court documents, during the evening of February 19, 2017, Wallace left a voicemail message for the Islamic Center of Greater Miami, located in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The defendant is alleged to have left a profanity laden message against Islam, the prophet Mohammed, and the Koran, during which he threatened to go to the mosque, and stated, "I'm gonna shoot all y'all."
Counts One and Two of the superseding indictment charge Wallace with obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs and the interstate transmission of a threatening communication for leaving this threating voicemail. Wallace was previously indicted, on May 25, 2017, for the interstate transmission of a threatening communication for making this threat. If convicted of both counts, Wallace faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Miami Gardens Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry C. Wallace, Jr. of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division.