Texas Man Receives 15 Months In Federal Prison For Spreading COVID-19 Hoax On Social Media

According to reports, a man is now headed to federal prison for spreading a COVID-19 hoax on social media.

FOX LA reported that a Texas man, Christopher Perez, has been sentenced for falsely claiming he paid a person who was infected with the virus to lick grocery items. 

He was “found guilty of two counts for violating a federal law that criminalizes false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas

Prosecutors presented evidence during the trial that showed Perez posted two messages on Facebook in April of 2020. He alleged that he paid someone infected with COVID “to lick items at grocery stores in the San Antonio area to scare people away from visiting the stores.”

Authorities at the Southwest Texas Fusion Center received a screenshot of the hoax, and it was sent to the FBI office in San Antonio for investigation.

“The threat was false. Perez did not pay someone to intentionally spread coronavirus at grocery stores, according to investigators and Perez’s own admissions,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

He was arrested on April 7th. In addition to being sentenced to 15 months, he has been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Perez initially faced five years in prison.

As previously reported, cities are creating stricter COVID-19 mandates. Most recently, California became the first state to require kids to have the COVID vaccine in order to attend school.

The requirements will be phased in by grade groups — 7-12 and K-6 — and will start for each group only after the Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccine for that group, according to a news release from Newsom’s office.

“We intend to (have the requirement) once the FDA has fully approved the vaccine, which will give us time to work with districts, give us time to work with parents and educators to build more trust and confidence and build out logistics so that we can deliver on what we are promoting here today,” Newsom said.

The requirement will go into effect at the start of the term that follows the FDA’s full approval for that grade group — either January 1 or July 1, the governor’s office added in its release.

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