LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The FBI was forwarded two online posts made before President Joe Biden’s inauguration that referenced former President Donald Trump retaining power, the I-Team confirmed.
Two weeks ago, Nye County Republican Party chair Chris Zimmerman released a letter stating, “Trump will be president for another four years. Biden will not be president.”
“The next 12 days will be something to tell the grandchildren! It’s 1776 all over again!” the letter read, along with supposed events that were sure to happen, then did not. Zimmerman is now asking for donations to a legal defense fund, though no charges have been filed.
Last week, a Nye County firearms training facility started offering a free course to join “Trump’s Army.” Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the founder of the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, based in Pahrump, was listed as the website’s owner
Since the I-Team first reported about the website last week, it was pulled.
Planned armed events leading up to Inauguration Day never materialized, but the concerns about them were very real. Local and federal police remain on alert, and they need your help.
Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the FBI Las Vegas, said most of the tips his agents look into start when we see something odd and pick up the phone.
“Let us take a look at it,” Rouse said. “Let us make an evaluation.”
Follow the adage of “See something, say something,” Rouse said, adding our eyes are his team’s ears to what is happening online.
“When you turn to violence, you’ve lost any legitimacy to whatever cause you may be supporting,” he said.
Since the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, the FBI has arrested more than 100 people. None have ties to Nevada.
“When you turn to violence, when you turn to destruction, that’s when your First Amendment privileges stop, and you’re no longer a protester, you’re a criminal,” Rouse said.
While Rouse would not comment on active investigations, the FBI was forwarded two local cases involving online posts.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office forwarded both cases to the FBI, the I-Team confirms, but Rouse would not talk about specifics. He said in general, there is always a discussion about what language goes too far.
“If somebody is advocating actually violence, actual violence against somebody else, that’s when they’ve crossed the line,” he said.
Rouse mentioned the 2019 case of Conor Climo, who pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge. Climo talked online about plotting an attack against a synagogue, a bar that caters to LGBTQ customers and a McDonald’s in Las Vegas.
Rouse said if you see anything concerning online, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.