Buffalo man sentenced for posting social media threat against local stores days after Tops shooting
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Rolik Walker, 25, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of transmitting an interstate threat, was sentenced to a term of 3 years’ probation, by United States District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. One of the conditions of probation is that Walker must abide by the terms of an electronically monitored curfew for a period of one year.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who handled the case, stated that on May 16, 2022, two days after the mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, Walker downloaded the IPVanish application onto his cell phone in order to mask his IP address. Walker, using IPVanish, then created a Twitter account with the handle @ConklinHero, and posted a threat about “targeting” several stores in the Western New York area and “Only looking to kill blacks.” Soon after the threat was posted, local, state, and federal law enforcement diverted resources to the stores to ensure the safety of the community, which resulted in one of the stores closing early. Although he attempted to conceal his IP address, the FBI linked the Twitter account to Walker’s residence in Buffalo.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.