Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

FL man pleads guilty to hate crimes, threatening Muslim store owners

Thursday, February 9, 2017 6:49
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.
James Benjamin Jones

James Benjamin Jones, 35, is accused of threatening physical violence against two Muslim store owners. (Photo: Lee County Jail)

A 35-year-old man accused of threatening the Muslim owners of two grocery stores in Fort Myers pleaded guilty to felony hate crime charges in federal court Wednesday.

James Benjamin Jones admitted to threatening the owners and their families with physical violence last year if they did not close down their businesses, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

In June 2016, Jones told the owner of Halal Meat and Grocery that if he did not do as Jones requested, “four people will come with guns and they will blow up [the owner].” Jones gave the businessman one month to close the store and said he would be “keeping an eye on him” to ensure that he was, indeed, closing the shop.

Jones also told the owner of Halal Meat and Grocery that he and others “will blow up all Muslims and get this land back.”

Then, a few weeks later, in July 2016, Jones threatened the owner of Sahara Mediterranean Market, also telling him he needed to close his business. Jones said he was from “the good temple” and made reference to the Orlando nightclub shooting, which left 49 dead and 53 injured when Omar Mateen, who was Muslim, opened fire in the crowded club on June 12, 2016. Jones told the market owner “Orlando is not gonna happen again” then added, “so for your safety and your family’s safety, you got two months to go, to leave.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Wheeler noted that Jones made threats of violence and attempted to extinguish the victims’ economic livelihood simply because of their religion and that such acts will not be tolerated and be vigorously prosecuted.

However, according to reports from local media, Jones’ attorney, Chris Brown said his client never intended to harm anyone.

“Mr. Jones does not hate Muslim people,” Brown said. “He really regrets if he scared those people and saying the things he said.”

According to court records, a hearing for Jones’ sentencing has not been set at this time.

The post FL man pleads guilty to hate crimes, threatening Muslim store owners appeared first on


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.