News Flash

NRPD Press Releases

Posted on: April 17, 2023

U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest

NRPD Press Release

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,  Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Robert Gazzola, the Commissioner of the New Rochelle Police Department (“NRPD”), announced that JAYLEEN MOTA was arrested on April 16, 2023, and charged via a criminal Complaint filed in White Plains federal court with making threatening interstate communications, in which MOTA threatened to shoot up a popular nationwide chain restaurant and sports bar located on LeCount Place in New Rochelle on Saturday night.  MOTA will be presented in White Plains federal court later today before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Actual or threatened gun violence cannot be tolerated.  Simply put, those who place the public in fear by engaging in or threatening the use of violence will be held accountable.  This Office commends the swift action of the New Rochelle Police Department and the FBI in quickly tracking down this threat.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “As alleged, Ms. Mota sent a series of text messages in which she threatened to commit a mass shooting at a crowded New Rochelle restaurant.  Communicating threats like those we allege she made can waste valuable law enforcement resources and cause unnecessary alarm in our communities.  Today’s charges should serve as a reminder for all that the FBI takes these types of threats seriously, and there will be consequences for those who make them.”

NRPD Commissioner Robert Gazzola said: “I want to commend the New Rochelle Police detectives, members of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety's Real Time Crime Center, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.  They worked quickly and diligently to identify and arrest the individual who allegedly made threats of mass violence directed at a local New Rochelle restaurant.  It is a testament to the professional cooperation that exists in law enforcement today.  The New Rochelle Police Department does not tolerate such acts and will make every effort to identify and arrest anyone making such threats.”

As alleged in the Complaint filed today:[1]

On April 15, 2023, the NRPD received a call from an individual (“Caller-1”) who had received an initial text message from an unknown person, later identified as MOTA, threatening to “shoot[] up” a popular nationwide chain restaurant and sports bar located on LeCount Place in New Rochelle (the “Victim Restaurant”).  The text message further stated that there would be a “massacre” and “lots of people are going down.”  A subsequent text message stated that “[t]odays a busy night because of the game DON’T TAKE ME AS A JOKE lots of people will die DON’T CALL THE STORE AND RUIN MY PLANS I’m gonna make the news.”

That same day, the NRPD received a call from a second individual (“Caller-2”) who had received an identical text message from an unknown person threatening to “shooting[] up” the Victim Restaurant and commit a “massacre,” stating, “lots of people are going down.”

The NRPD took the phone number from which the text-message threats were sent and traced the number back to MOTA.  On the evening of April 15, 2023, pursuant to a search warrant, the FBI and New Rochelle Police searched MOTA’s apartment and found both MOTA and the cellphone from which MOTA sent the threats.  After informing MOTA of her Miranda rights, she consented to being interviewed and admitted that she had sent text messages threatening to shoot up the Victim Restaurant to five individuals.

*                *                *

MOTA, 21, of the Bronx, New York, is charged with making threatening interstate communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  

The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative efforts of the NRPD and the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI and other New York state and local agencies.

The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Ly is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the descriptions of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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