Antioch man accused of hate crime was under investigation for nearly 2 years
Authorities shed light Tuesday on the lengthy investigation of an Antioch man accused of making online threats of violence against Jewish people.
A Lake County grand jury indicted Christopher M. Williams, 33, last week on two counts of committing a hate crime and one count of electronic harassment.
Antioch spokesman Jim Moran said federal law enforcement partners first approached local officers about threatening online posts believed to have been made by Williams around June 1, 2021. Initially, the statements officials accuse Williams of making were threatening against Jewish organizations nationwide.
Nearly two years after the investigation began, authorities allege, Williams have made repeated threats of violence online toward members of the Sanctuary Messianic Synagogue in Lindenhurst, and officials determined charges were appropriate.
Moran said Antioch officers took Williams into custody April 28 while he was riding his bicycle near his home in the Clublands of Antioch subdivision. Moran said he didn't know if investigators confiscated computers or other property belonging to Williams.
Moran said because the federal law enforcement officers led the investigation, he did not know where Williams is alleged to have made the online post.
Antioch officials aided federal authorities by providing support and in securing the arrest warrant against Williams.
Williams is expected to plead not guilty to the charges at an arraignment this week.