Two Men Accused Of Threatening Police Released From Jail
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — One day after police heralded two arrests as potentially saving lives during Monday’s George Floyd protests in Salt Lake City, the men who were arrested were already out of jail.
Yuri Neves Silva, 27, posted bond on a bail amount of $10,000 and 27-year-old Christian Hernandez posted $5,680 in bail, officials at the Salt Lake County Jail confirmed Wednesday.
According to detectives with the West Valley City Police Department, Silva and Hernandez were taken into custody during a traffic stop Monday following an investigation into violent threats that were posted online.
Officers recovered four guns from the vehicle, including an AK-47 and an Uzi with a silencer attached. Police said they also found numerous rounds of ammunition.
Jail documents said Silva admitted after being read his Miranda rights he was headed to the Salt Lake City protests.
“Not only have they protected the lives of police officers, but they very well have likely saved the lives of many people who had gathered downtown to protest,” West Valley City police spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku said in an interview with KSL Tuesday.
According to a probable cause statement, police first became aware of Silva through “concerning and threatening” social media posts.
“I believe the suspect was threatening to kill police officers,” an investigator wrote in the statement. “Furthermore, the suspect also posted Facebook messages stating he had access to firearms, specifically ‘dracos,’ a slang term for AK-47s; he has access to find police officers’ personal residences.”
The statement noted that Silva denied to investigators that he wanted to shoot police officers, but admitted his Facebook posts were intended to incite people and admitted to “understanding this incitement could lead to people getting hurt.”
Silva was arrested on suspicion of felony threat of terrorism, while Hernandez — who was driving the vehicle — was arrested on suspicion of felony purchase, transfer, possession, use of a firearm by a restricted person and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
By late Wednesday, West Valley City police had not yet responded to the news the men were already out of jail.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said the jail doesn’t make the decision on bail or bond — the judge made the decision and the jail complied with the order.
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