U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Rolik Walker, 24, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with making an interstate threat. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that according to the criminal complaint, on May 16, 2022, just two days after the racially motivated shooting at the Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, Walker created a Twitter account with the handle @ConklinHero. The defendant accused in the Tops shooting is from Conklin, NY. Walker then used the @ConklinHero account to post that he and his “associates” were targeting several grocery stores in the Buffalo area and were “only looking to kill blacks.” Walker attempted to anonymize his creation of the Twitter account and the Twitter post by utilizing an application on his cell phone that masked his IP address.
Walker made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.