DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
John C. Anderson
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth Martinez

Las Cruces Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Using Interstate Communications to Threaten Elementary School Students

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Anthony Estrada, 24, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court to 30 months in prison for his conviction on a felony information charging him with using interstate communications to threaten the lives and safety of children at a Las Cruces public elementary school.  Estrada will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.
 
Estrada was arrested on a criminal complaint on Sept. 15, 2017, for using social media platforms to post threats to shoot children at a Las Cruces public elementary school.  According to the complaint, the threats posted by Estrada led local schools authorities in Las Cruces to shelter students in place and shut down operations until Estrada was apprehended. 
 
On Dec. 11, 2018, Estrada pled guilty to a felony information charging him with threatening to injure through the use of interstate communications.  In entering the guilty plea, Estrada admitted that on Sept. 15, 2017, he posted a threat on social media that he was going to shoot up a Las Cruces public elementary school.  Estrada further admitted that as a result of his actions, the elementary school he threatened and several other Las Cruces elementary schools were placed on lock down.
 
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Las Cruces Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.
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Field Division: Phoenix Field Division