Threat to open fire on Miami-Dade mosque earns security guard a year in prison

Masjid Miami Gardens

A security guard who left a phone message threatening to shoot members of a Miami-Dade mosque was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison.

Gerald Sloane Wallace, 35, left the expletive-filled voice mail at the Masjid Mosque in Miami Gardens almost a year ago.

Wallace, who pleaded guilty in October to obstructing the mosque’s “free exercise of religious beliefs” for making the threatening call, faced up to five years in prison before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke.

In the Feb. 19 phone message, Wallace threatened to go to the mosque, also known as the Islamic Center of Greater Miami, and open fire on the Muslim congregants.

“I hate you Muslims, you Muslims are terrible. I hate you people,” Wallace’s recorded message said. “I’m gonna go down to your center, I’m gonna shoot all ya’ll. … I hate your Allah, I hate your Koran, I hate everything about Islam.”

Wallace was initially arrested by the Miami Gardens police and FBI agents last February. During questioning, Wallace admitted that since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he has had an “absolute hatred” of Muslims, especially Muslims in the United States.

The defendant, who had a concealed weapons permit to possess a gun for his security job at a Miami grocery store, told investigators that he tried to call and threaten several mosques in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“Wallace said that he calls and emails these mosques because he hates Muslims and has thought about killing them,” according to a detention motion filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Wallace. “He believes that all Muslims must leave the United States, whether voluntarily or by force.”

The U.S. attorney’s office and Justice Department’s civil rights division condemned the hate crime against the Miami Gardens mosque, saying their congregants have the constitutional “right to live free from violence and discrimination.”

miamiherald.com

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