Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge For Threatening Pizza Shop in Northwest Washington
SHREVEPORT, LA. – A Louisiana man pled has pled guilty to a federal charge following his arrest for calling a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and threatening to shoot people there, announced Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Stephanie A. Finley, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.
Yusif Lee Jones, 52, of Shreveport, pled guilty on Jan. 12, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, to one count of interstate threatening communications. He is to be sentenced on April 12, 2017, by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. Jones, who has been in custody in Louisiana since his arrest there on Dec. 22, 2016, faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine.
According to the government’s evidence, Jones made the threat by telephone on Dec. 7, 2016, three days after a shooting at the Comet Ping Pong pizza shop in Washington, D.C., which was reported on by the national news media. The gunman in that case, who faces federal charges in Washington, D.C., was motivated, at least in part, by unfounded rumors concerning a child sex-trafficking ring. No one was injured in the gunfire. According to the government’s evidence, Jones called the Besta Pizza shop in Washington, D.C., and said he was trying to “save the kids” and threatened to “shoot everyone in the place.”
An investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the FBI’s Washington Field Office traced the call to Jones in Shreveport. Jones subsequently admitted to making the threatening call and was arrested. He initially was charged in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, but that case is to be dismissed in light of the federal prosecution in Louisiana.
The investigation was conducted by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia included Assistant U.S. Attorneys T. Patrick Martin, John Giovannelli, Demian S. Ahn, and Sonali D. Patel, as well as Victim/Witness Advocates Yvonne Bryant and Karina Hernandez. Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Flanagan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana is prosecuting the case.