A 37-year-old man has admitted he committed a hate crime, making threatening telephone calls to a Connecticut restaurant, along with businesses in other states.
Joey David George, a resident of Lynnwood, Washington, pleaded guilty on Monday, Nov. 7, to making interstate threats and a hate crime: interference with a Federally Protected Activity, United States Attorney Nick Brown announced.
He has been in federal custody since he was arrested on July 22, Brown said.
In his plea agreement, George admitted he made threatening phone calls to grocery stores in Buffalo, New York, restaurants in California and Connecticut, and a marijuana dispensary in Maryland, according to the report.
The US Attorney's Office said George admitted that on July 19, 20, and 21, he called grocery stores in Buffalo and threatened to shoot Black people in the stores.
He claimed to be "nearby" and ordered the stores to clear out customers, prompting one store to close, Brown reported.
These threats followed a shooting at another Buffalo grocery store in May.
Authorities traced the phone number and identified George as the individual who made the calls, the US Attorney's Office said.
Brown said George also admitted that in May, he called a restaurant in San Bruno, California, and threatened to shoot Black and Hispanic patrons.
He also threatened a cannabis dispensary in Rockville, Maryland, on Sept. 11, 2021, causing the dispensary to shut down and hire extra security, Brown said.
That same day, he called a Hartford County Denny's restaurant located in Enfield and threatened Black patrons at the restaurant, the US Attorney's Office said.
In his plea agreement, George agreed to pay restitution to the businesses that were impacted.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, Dec. 16, Brown reported.
The case was investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of local police departments.
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