A man arrested on Wednesday who spoke about shooting up a synagogue in Fort Myers had the weapons and ammunition to carry out the threat, authorities said.
The suspect, Alfredo Sanchez, 43, faces charges of Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Felon. It is now being determined if federal charges are appropriate.
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz confirms Sanchez and his family have attended the Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida for about a year.
“He comes to the synagogue, prays, he studies, he volunteers, he helps out,” Rabbi Minkowicz said, “so yes absolutely it was a surprise we had no inkling of any of this stuff.”
The rabbi adds that investigators first started looking into Sanchez after hearing about an “unverified” threat against the south Fort Myers synagogue. The convicted felon had previously been arrested and sentenced to prison for firearms charges.
“Talking about threats against a synagogue, I will say yes we take that very, very, very, serious,” Rabbi Minkowicz said. “We work very closely constantly with the local authorities, state authorities, federal authorities. We have a big security budget here that’s funded by local people.”
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