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FBI: Man arrested for claiming he paid someone to spread COVID-19 at Texas grocery stores

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(Photo: WOAI)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (WOAI) - The FBI has arrested a man after he allegedly posted a threat on Facebook, claiming he paid someone to spread coronavirus at local grocery stores.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 39-year-old Christopher Charles Perez posted the threat on the social media site because "he was trying to deter people from visiting the stores, purportedly in order to prevent the spread of the virus."

Perez was arrested Tuesday at a home on Chateau Drive, where he lived. A screenshot of the post had been sent in a tip online to the Southwest Texas Fusion Center Sunday, which then contacted the local FBI office.

The U.S. DOJ said the alleged threat was false and no one spread coronavirus at grocery stores.

Perez is facing a charge of hoaxes involving biological agents, which comes with a federal prison sentence of up to five years.