East Bay Resident Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements To The FBI
Defendant Admits Concocting Stories That Ex-Girlfriend and Her Brother Were Planning A High School Shooting
SAN FRANCISCO – Moses Orozco pleaded guilty today to making false statements to federal investigators, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The plea was accepted by the Honorable Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge.
According to the plea agreement, Orozco, 23, of Pittsburg, Calif., admitted he knowingly made false statements to the FBI earlier this year when he claimed two people were planning a high school shooting in the East Bay.
On March 27, 2018, Orozco called the FBI Public Access Line and falsely told FBI personnel that his ex-girlfriend and her brother were planning a mass shooting. Orozco stated in the call that the brother recently had been acting “weird,” that he said he wanted to commit a shooting “anywhere there was a massive amount of people,” and that he asked, “Have you ever wanted to do a mass shooting?” Orozco also claimed he had photographs of the brother with guns and text messages that were exchanged between his ex-girlfriend and her brother in which the two planned a mass shooting.
Further, on March 28, 2018, Orozco repeated much of the same story to an FBI Task Force Officer during an interview. Orozco stated that his former girlfriend and her brother were planning a mass school shooting at an undisclosed location; that the brother recently told Orozco he (the brother) wanted to conduct a school shooting; that the brother showed Orozco digital photos of himself with guns and a text message thread with his sister in which they were making plans for the shooting; that the brother said, “something big was about to happen,” and that Orozco should watch the evening news; and that Orozco believed a mass school shooting was in the execution phase.
Then, on March 29 and 31, 2018, Orozco provided to law enforcement authorities additional details about the alleged mass shooting threat. For example, Orozco told the FBI that his ex-girlfriend’s brother stated, “I’m not going to tell you when I’m going to do it because you’ll call the cops.” Orozco also showed an officer from the Antioch Police Department a text thread that Orozco claimed was from his ex-girlfriend.
The ruse came to an end on April 3, 2018. On that day, Orozco met with FBI agents and, during the interview, admitted he lied about the school shooting threats. Orozco also admitted he lied when he called the Public Access Line to report the school shooting threat and that he fabricated the text messages. Orozco told the agents that he was upset about his breakup with his ex-girlfriend and that he reported the threat to “get back at her.”
On September 6, 2018, a grand jury indicted Orozco, charging him with three counts of making false statements to an agency of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2). Today, Orozco pleaded guilty to all three charges.
Judge Illston scheduled Orozco’s sentencing for February 8, 2019. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2) is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release. Additional fines, forfeitures, restitution, and special assessments also may be imposed. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lee is prosecuting the case with assistance from Sarah Lamparelli and Kim Richardson. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.