The Alleged "El Diablo" Jacob Esparza in Pecos Federal Court Today 11/29/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
November 29, 2012
PECOS - Today 30-year-old Jacob Esparza had his preliminary and detention hearing inside the United States Courthouse in Pecos.
The Department of Homeland Security Investigations identified Esparza as "El Diablo," the online Topix.com user who posted threats against West Texas law enforcement officials and their families.
This morning, Esparza walked into the courtroom in a bright orange jumpsuit, with both hands and feet cuffed.
During proceedings, he seemed very detached and often smiled or stared into space.
Homeland Security Investigations Agent Brendon Shaffer was the only witness called to the stand.
Shaffer told the judge of all the evidence investigators have against Esparza. He included statements from Esparza's uncle, aunt, and estranged wife. He stated that family members believe Esparza is mentally unstable, suffers from Schizophrenia or a bipolar disorder, and frequently stops taking his medication.
Agent Shaffer also went into details about Esparza's criminal history and the links connecting him with the "El Diablo" threats. These connections include matching IP addresses and witness identifications.
After Shaffer gave his testimony, the judge ordered Jacob Esparza to be detained as a risk of flight and danger to the community.
Esparza is set to be in front of the Federal Grand Jury on December 13th.
Esparza was arrested early Tuesday morning, and he is being held at the Winkler County jail.
Click the Video to the Right for Felicia Boltonís Report.