Submitted by Barbara Burns
Public Affairs Officer
United States Attorney's Office
Western District of New York
U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Rolik Walker, 25, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to transmitting an interstate threat, before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. 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, on May 16, 2022, two days after the mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, Walker downloaded the IPVanish application onto his cell phone in order to mask his IP address. Walker, using IPVanish, then created a Twitter account with the handle @ConklinHero, and posted a threat about “targeting” several stores in the Western New York area and “Only looking to kill blacks.” Soon after the threat was posted, local, state and federal law enforcement diverted resources to the stores to ensure the safety of the community, which resulted in one of the stores closing early. Although he attempted to conceal his IP address, the FBI linked the Twitter account to Walker’s residence in Buffalo.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 1 before Judge Sinatra.