"El Diablo" Denied Bond After Hearing In Federal Court

By: Josh Navarro

Newswest 9

PECOS- Newswest 9 is continuing to follow the case of "El Diablo." He is the man accused of sending various threats to Fort Stockton and Midland law enforcement officials.

Jacob Esparza made his first Federal Court appearance Thursday in Pecos. U.S. Magistrate Goains denied bond for Esparza and he'll remain behind bars because he feels Esparza poses a danger to the community and is a flight risk.

Esparza was seen in chains and wearing an orange prison suit walking out of the Federal Courthouse after his detention hearing Thursday morning. He's accused of sending death threats to multiple Basin law enforcement agencies and detonating bombs in Midland on Christmas day, all posted on the online chat forum Topix.

No cameras were allowed inside the Federal Court room, however, one witness took the stand, that was Department Homeland Security Investigations Agent Brendon Shaffer. He says detectives traced the IP address of where those threats originated starting from the Apple store in El Paso. According to Shaffer, Esparza apparently crossed the border into Juarez Mexico, where investigators found another IP address used by 'El Diablo' at a café and then crossed back into the U.S.

A few days later, Esparza used a computer from the Fort Stockton Public Library to send threats to the Midland Police Department along with You tube links that contained violent music videos of rap or heavy metal. In one those emails sent to Midland PD, Shaffer says Esparza wrote " I'm tired of playing checkers, I want to play chess."

Through their investigation, DHS were able to identify Jacob Esparza as "El Diablo" and on Tuesday he was found by Pecos Police at the parking lot of Flying J and was arrested. Inside his truck, authorities found several books on combat war, understanding attacks and hazardous materials and others along those subjects.

Shaffer testified that Esparza had tried to obtain nuclear elements like radium, plutonium and uranium. He also stated in court, family believed Esparza may suffer from bipolar or may be schizophrenic.

We've also learned that Esparza has a criminal history with all the law enforcement agencies he sent threats to except for Midland PD.

Esparza has not been indicted yet, that's expected to happen on December 13 when he'll make another appearance, this time before a Federal Grand Jury.