A Louisiana man on Thursday admitted to telephoning a threat to a pizza shop just a few doors down from another Northwest pizzeria that was targeted after it was the subject of a viral fake news story about a child sex ring.
Prosecutors said Yusif Jones, 52, of Shreveport, La., pleaded guilty to one federal count of making an interstate threatening communication. Jones was arrested last month in Louisiana, and authorities decided not to extradite him to Washington and instead charged him in Western District of Louisiana federal court. Jones is be sentenced April 12.
According to prosecutors, on Dec. 7, Jones telephoned the Besta Pizza located in the 5000 block of Connecticut Avenue NW and said “I’m coming to finish what the other guy didn’t. I’m coming there to save the kids, and then I’m going to shoot you and everyone in the place,” according to court charging documents.
Investigators were able to track Jones down by the telephone number that was registered on the pizza shop’s caller ID device. When police contacted Jones, he admitted to making the phone call, authorities say.
Jones was arrested four days later. Prosecutors say Jones was referring to the Dec. 4 incident when a man identified by police as Edward Welch allegedly walked into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant armed with a .38-caliber Colt revolver and a Colt AR-15 rifle — loaded with 23 bullets — strapped across his chest. No one was injured.
Welch is facing federal charges in Washington in connection with the incident. Besta is located in the same block as Comet Ping Pong.
Police asked Jones whether he believed the false reports that children were being tortured in the restaurant that were dubbed Pizzagate. Jones said he read the reports on the Internet and believed they were true.