SAN JOSE – A man has been charged with a felony charge and his firearms were temporarily confiscated by authorities on allegations that, after being fired from a construction company, he systematically tracked down his former bosses. and sent them a litany of messages indicating that he was monitoring them. movements.
Brian Velasquez, 43, of Morgan Hill, was charged last week and has since been out on bail, according to prison and court records. Prosecutors at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office say the weapons-related charges against Velasquez may follow after an illegally modified rifle was found at his home.
According to a gun-violence restraining order filed by investigators and the San Jose Police, Velasquez was fired from a job at a San Jose-based construction firm in January. He reportedly went on to leave threatening messages with supervisors and executives at the company over the ensuing months.
The construction company contacted San Jose Police in April, following a final investigation by the police department and the district attorney’s office. The gun-violence restraining order, forcing Velasquez to surrender his firearms, is pending a June 6 court hearing to assess his fitness to safely possess guns.
The restraining order alleges that a “disgruntled” Velasquez left emails and Instagram posts allegedly directed at victims that showed images and videos of guns – including fully automatic weapons – by them. Footage of the firing was also included – and he signed them up for email alerts. Companies that sell body armor. Prosecutors also alleged that he created LinkedIn accounts in the names of his former owners and filled them with derogatory remarks.
“A week ago, they got an email from him who was furious. It was not a specified threat, but there were several implicit threats,” said Marissa McCain, supervising attorney for the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit. “It had statements like, I know where you live, I see you set up a pool, I know what your wife is driving.”
Also according to prosecutors and police, Velasquez sent emails with material suggesting he was watching them, giving specific details about their homes and the activities of some of his family members.
When police placed an arrest warrant and a gun-violence restraining order at Velasquez’s home on May 19, they confiscated several rifles and handguns, ammunition and body armor. Prosecutors say there were illegal modifications to at least two rifles that included rear pistol grips and detachable magazines, both of which are banned in California.
McCain said the case demonstrates the extent to which charges can be made when someone makes an indirect threat that takes more seriousness when it is known that they are armed. But when in doubt, she still encourages people to contact the authorities if a route like a gun-violence restraining order might be in place.
“It is difficult to criminally address this kind of pre-assault behavior,” she said. “There are many examples of these where people ask, ‘What do I do?’ If there may be a crime, we can do something to disarm this person and do a risk assessment.”
Anyone with knowledge of the matter may contact SJPD Detective Sgt. John Byers at 408-277-3835 or by email at email@example.com, or with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or leave a tip at svcrimestoppers.org.