SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Magna man is charged with threatening to assault and murder a former police officer.
Ryan David Lucero, 33, is charged with one count of influencing a federal officer by threat in an indictment unsealed Wednesday morning.
Lucero was arrested Tuesday at a home in Magna. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshals Service and the Unified Police Department (UPD) executed the arrest warrant.
“Police officers and their families make great sacrifices to keep our communities safe,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said in the statement released.
“They have the right to live safely in their own homes, as we all do, and should not have to endure the threat that has been alleged in this indictment. We will bring to justice those who harm or threaten law enforcement officers in violation of federal law.”
The retired officer’s teenage daughter found the threat in the victim’s mail box on June 7 of this year, about a week after a riot in downtown Salt Lake City.
During the May 30 riot, officers were injured and buildings including the Salt Lake City Police Department’s were vandalized. A police vehicle was flipped, smashed and torched, the DoJ statement noted.
Prior to the Salt Lake City riot, the victim in this case wore his VA uniform to and from work for years. After that, he was employed by the Unified Police Department, and parked his patrol car in his driveway for years prior to his retirement two years ago. Both actions clearly identified him as someone associated with law enforcement.
No more specific details of the threat were shared.
The potential penalty for the charge in the indictment is 10 years in prison. An initial appearance for Lucero has been set for Friday at 2:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cecilia M. Romero.
Based on current information, federal prosecutors will be seeking detention for Lucero based on a risk of flight. The victim and his family are also concerned about their safety if the defendant is released, the Department of Justice statement says.
In a filing outlining the United States’ position regarding detention, prosecutors are asking the magistrate judge to consider the defendant’s use of aliases or false documents in previous situations. In one instance, the defendant provided a false name and date of birth to law enforcement to avoid detection of multiple arrest warrants, the DoJ statement says, adding Lucero also failed to appear for court proceedings on several occasions in the Salt Lake Valley.
“An indictment is not a finding of guilt,” the statement states. “Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.”