Las Cruces man accused of threatening to shoot school children facing federal charges

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The 23-year-old Las Cruces man accused of threatening to shoot children at a Las Cruces elementary school is now facing federal charges, according to Las Cruces Police.

Michael Anthony Estrada, 23, made his initial appearance Monday in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with using interstate communications to threaten the lives and safety of children at a Las Cruces public elementary school. 

LCPD said Estrada remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, both of which are currently scheduled for Sept. 21, 2017.

Police believe Estrada is responsible for Friday's social media threat targeting Conlee Elementary. Conlee had to be placed on lockdown, while all district schools were "shelter-in-place".

If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, LCPD said Estrada faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison. 

The case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Las Cruces Police Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney's Las Cruces Branch Office is reported as prosecuting the case.

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