The man accused of plotting a mass shooting at a Jacksonville Islamic center will stay in federal custody.
At 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Judge Joel Toomey decided not to release Bernandino Bolatete, denying his attorney’s request that he be let out on bond.
Toomey called Bolatete a “serious, serious danger” to our community.
#ANJaxBreaking: Judge just decided to keep Bernandino Bolatete behind bars, not let him out on bond. He's accused of plotting to carry out mass shooting at #Jacksonville mosque. I'm breaking down what happened in court live at 5 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/A9BB7IopHp— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) December 5, 2017
Bolatete’s criminal complaint said he repeatedly told an undercover officer that he intended to carry out a mass shooting at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida.
The 69-year-old was arrested on Dec. 1 and is facing a federal charge for possessing an unregistered firearm silencer.
The FBI said a civil rights investigation is underway and Bolatete could face more charges.
Prosecutor Michael Coolican, with the U.S. attorney’s office, said in court on Tuesday that FBI agents found 2,500 rounds of ammunition in Bolatete’s room.
Coolican said FBI agents also found 12 guns in his room, in his car and on his person the day of his arrest.
Coolican argued that Bolatete must remain behind bars because he “had a death wish.”
Judge calls accused would-be terrorist Bernandino Bolatete a "serious, serious danger" to our community. FBI says he told undercover officer he planned mass shooting at Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. Live at 6 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/wPeo41QTFo— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) December 5, 2017
Bolatete’s criminal complaint said he told an undercover officer that he was in kidney failure, did not have long to live and intended to die in a shootout with police at the mosque.
Coolican also argued that Bolatete is a flight risk because he is not a U.S. citizen and still has family in the Philippines.
Chained at the wrists and ankles, Bolatete repeatedly shook his head as Coolican spoke to the judge.
Bolatete’s public defender Mark Rosenblum told the judge that his client’s talk with an undercover detective was “just talk.”
“There are no dead bodies. There are no dead Muslims,” said Rosenblum. “All that we have is talk, but no action.”
Rosenblum called Bolatete’s brother and sister as witnesses, who both tried to convince the judge that it would be safe to let Bolatete out on bond.
In federal court, we learned FBI found 2,500 rounds of ammunition & 12 guns in Bernandino Bolatete's #Jacksonville home, car. FBI says Bolatete planned mass shooting at Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. I'm live at 6 @ActionNewsJax with latest from courtroom. pic.twitter.com/q0NTLVhBVq— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) December 5, 2017
They both told the judge that their brother was not a threat to the community and would not be a flight risk.
They also told the judge they would make sure he complied with the court’s orders.
Ultimately, the judge was unconvinced.
“It’s a serious charge, but we respect what the judge says, you know, we’ll just follow what he said,” said the suspect’s brother, Pedro Bolatete .
Bernandino Bolatete is due back in court on Dec. 12 for his preliminary hearing.
Bernandino Bolatete's attorney to judge: "There are no dead bodies. There are no dead Muslims... All that we have is talk but no action." Judge still decided to keep the accused would-be terrorist behind bars for now. Live at 6 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Gwg1mq6dHt— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) December 5, 2017