UPDATE February 16, 2023: A Nevada Judge has decided Michael Sanchez will undergo a mental evaluation to determine if he will face criminal charges; more here.
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UPDATE February 3, 2023: Nevada Judge increased Michael Sanchez’s bail amount from $20,000 to $100,000; more here.
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Michael Sanchez, a Las Vegas man who allegedly threatened to ‘shoot up’ a local synagogue while he believed ‘the Jews and police were after him,’ was arrested by police Monday.
Sanchez is being held in jail on a $20,000 bond on a charge of making threats or conveying false information concerning acts of terrorism.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report states the following – “On Jan. 29, a Rabbi at the Chabad of Southern Nevada Synagogue contacted the FBI about a threat he received on the phone “from a subject indicating they were going to come to shoot the synagogue.”
The Rabbi gave agents the phone number of the caller, and it was traced to Sanchez’s residence, the report said.
The FBI contacted the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Center, and LVMPD officers responded to the synagogue and Sanchez’s home.
At the synagogue, the Rabbi told police he had received a call from Sanchez, who identified himself and said, “Michael made verbal threats towards him and the synagogue.”
“Michael accused him and the people that attend his church of being child molesters and killers… something in between the lines that they do not deserve to live,” an arrest report said. NGO StopAntisemitism tweeted such rhetoric was being widely spread by various groups like ‘Goyim Defense League’ or GDL.
Sanchez then brought up the shooting, which happened at a synagogue in Poway, CA, where one woman died and three others, including an 8-year-old, were injured.
Recordings of the call were given to authorities.
Investigators went to Sanchez’s home, and upon seeing officers, Sanchez told police, “he knew they were there because the ‘Jews’ sent them.”
While speaking to the cops, Sanchez admitted he made the call and threatened to “shoot up” the synagogue. He further stated that “the Jews and police were out to get him.”
He told police he was a veteran of the army and had been deployed to Iraq twice.
“Officers recognized in speaking with Sanchez that he was displaying signs of paranoia.”
When the police tried to get family contact information from Sanchez, he became agitated and said his family would tell lies about him.
It was later learned Sanchez had called the synagogue several times over the previous five days, making comments that “Jews are pedophiles and they were enslaving everyone,” among other disparaging comments.
Sanchez’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 1.