Utah man charged with terrorism for attempting to bring weapons to riots after threatening to kill police


WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A man who allegedly threatened on social media to kill police officers prior to attempting to show up at the Salt Lake City riots with multiple weapons was charged Wednesday with felony terrorism.

Yuri Neves Silva, 27, of West Valley City, was arrested on a $25,000 warrant issued Wednesday after the District Attorney’s office filed second-degree felony terrorism charges against him.

RELATED: West Valley City man accused of threatening to kill police on social media, arrested on his way to Salt Lake protest

Arresting documents state that on June 1, detectives with West Valley City Police were investigating a case concerning social media posts in which on one Silva is holding a handgun.

Silva had made multiple posts on his Facebook page related to police officers and in one video posted on May 31, he showed himself mocking the Salt Lake City curfew, stating “Hands up don’t shoot,” among other expletive remarks towards officers, documents state.

Silva also posted Facebook messages stating he had access to firearms, specifically “dracos”, a slang term for AK47s, and that he has access to find police officers’ personal residences. Silva made comments knowing officers were trying to follow his Facebook page and he directed officers to stay at home to protect their families otherwise “we will have no choice but to affiliate you with your call Colleagues and their actions,” according to documents.

Related: Salt Lake DA: 40-50 arrested, police and protester actions being examined

Documents state Silva made specific mention of an officer who resides in his neighborhood and comments “you put that cop car in the garage real quick play boi.”

Police said the threats continued throughout the day on June 1, including one that said “That AR goin find you from a distance an we make will make highlight tapes out of all of you” and “if pigs start to drop the more the better.”

Officers took Silva into custody as he was leaving his home but he was releasesd from jail on a $10,000 bond.

During a search of the vehicle he was seen leaving his house from, police found a Smith & Wesson handgun, a UZI SMG, a .22 with a folding stock, an AK-47, and a Diamondback rifle.

During an interview with police, Silva admitted was headed to the current Salt Lake City protests but denied wanting to shoot police officers. He said his Facebook posts were intended to incite people, knowing it might lead to people getting hurt.

Silva also faces two counts of misdemeanor drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. A background check on Silva shows he was convicted of misdemeanor DUI in 2018. He was also arrested for domestic violence assault, unlawful detention and criminal mischief in 2016 but the charges were eventually dismissed due to lack of evidence.

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