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San Antonio News

Laredo Man Sentenced to Prison for False Statement in Gun Purchase After Previous Arrest for Terroristic Threats on Social Media

Booking photo of Brandon Ray Speed

A U.S. District Judge in San Antonio sentenced Brandon Ray Speed, a 20-year-old resident of Laredo, to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for providing a false statement on required information kept by a firearms dealer. FBI agents arrested Speed in April 2023, and he pleaded guilty to the indictment on June 22, 2023.

Court documents revealed that Brandon Ray Speed attempted to purchase a 12-gauge shotgun at a sporting goods store in San Antonio on December 11, 2022. During the purchase process, he provided incorrect information regarding his home address. His purchase was delayed due to expanded background checks for purchasers under the age of 21, which are mandated by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and he ultimately did not complete the purchase.

At the sentencing, the prosecution informed the court that the Laredo Police Department had previously arrested Speed in December 2022 for making terroristic threats related to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Speed had a history of using firearms to promote and amplify his social media posts, which glorified the Uvalde gunman. This history included a video clip of Speed driving past the memorial at Robb Elementary school with the caption "Long Live Salvador." The prosecution argued that Speed's history of involvement in alien smuggling activities justified an increased sentence and cited his admission that he had fantasies about committing a school shooting.

The FBI's Behavioral Threat Assessment Center, working in collaboration with the local law enforcement's San Antonio Behavioral Threat Assessment Group, provided critical information and analysis to assist prosecutors and investigators in the case. Their assessment indicated that Speed posed a high risk of committing acts of violence, aiding authorities in allocating resources effectively.

United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Jaime Esparza, commended the coordinated efforts of local and federal law enforcement, saying, "This is a great example of coordinated efforts by local and federal law enforcement to intervene early and keep our community safe using the full panoply of prosecutorial options at our disposal."

Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich, Jr., for the FBI San Antonio Division, praised the teamwork in resolving the case, stating, "Brandon Speed provided false statements on an official form while trying to purchase a gun after demonstrating concerning behavior in several other areas of his life."

The FBI conducted the investigation, and Speed's sentencing aims to prevent potential dangers to the community.

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