A Reno man, arrested for allegedly breaking several windows at the federal courthouse during a riot that stemmed from protests over George Floyd’s death, made his first court appearance on Thursday.
Keith Leroy Moreno, 27, was arrested on Wednesday on a charge of destruction of government property. His arrest was related to the rioting in late May.
Moreno appeared on Tuesday for a hearing in Reno via a video conference call with a California judge, according to Trisha Young, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Nevada.
It was not immediately clear why a California judge was assigned to Moreno’s case.
“Our office is committed to protecting the First Amendment right to peacefully protest and demonstrate,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich in a statement. “But violence, destruction, and vandalism, including damage to federal property such as courthouses, will not be tolerated.
According to court documents, Moreno allegedly boasted about vandalizing the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Courthouse in downtown Reno.
He reportedly threw a cigarette receptacle, which weighed about 23 pounds, and two rocks through the first-floor window of the building. He then broke three more windows, which could cost about $15,000 to repair, the court complaint said.
He then bragged that law enforcement was “not smart enough to find him,” prosecutors said in a news release.
Moreno reportedly claimed that, if there was further civil unrest or rioting, he’d “go right back to it.”
If he’s convicted, Moreno could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He has been released on a personal recognizance bond with conditions and is set to appear on video for a preliminary examination hearing on July 27.
Marcella Corona is a breaking news reporter who covers crime and justice in Northern Nevada. Support her work by subscribing to RGJ.com.