Florida Man Spits on Cops While Claiming to Have Coronavirus. Justice Department Accuses Him of 'Bioweapon Hoax.'

The War on Terror gave us federal anti-terror-hoax laws. Now the FBI is using them to punish a man who falsely claimed to have COVID-19.


A Florida man has been hit with federal bioterrorism hoax charges because he coughed and spit on police officers while falsely claiming to be infected with the coronavirus. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

On Thursday the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Tampa, Florida, had returned an indictment of 31-year-old James Jamal Curry for "perpetrating a biological weapon hoax."

The charges stretch back to a late March incident when St. Petersburg police arrested Curry for felony domestic battery and false imprisonment charges after he allegedly hit his then-girlfriend in their apartment.

While being searched during that arrest, Curry told officers he had coronavirus and then coughed in their direction, according to an FBI affidavit. He posted bail the next day but was arrested that same evening for going over to his girlfriend's house in violation of a no-contact order.

The FBI affidavit says that when St. Petersburg police tried to arrest him a second time, Curry struggled with police officers before spitting into one of their mouths and saying "I have corona, bitch, and I'm spreading it around."

Curry was later tested for the coronavirus. The test came back negative.

In early April, following an FBI investigation, the Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint against Curry on terrorism hoax charges, reasoning that because the COVID-19 disease caused by coronavirus was "a virus capable of causing death," it met the federal definition of a "biological agent." Because Curry lied about having this deadly virus, he was therefore guilty of a bioweapons hoax.

The grand jury decision Thursday means the case against Curry can go forward.

If the information in the affidavit about Curry is true, he's a bad guy and should be punished under normal state criminal laws.

But the terrorism hoax charges are a ridiculous overreach. The circumstances of his case couldn't have less to do with the reason Congress passed the first federal law against terrorism hoaxes back in 2004.

That year, the Stop Terrorist and Military Hoaxes Act was passed as part of a major defense and intelligence reform bill. The intention behind the legislation was to crack down on people calling in fake terrorist threats in the wake of 9/11.

"Since September 11, hoaxes have seriously disrupted people's lives and needlessly diverted law-enforcement and emergency-services resources," the Justice Department explained in congressional testimony at the time, pointing specifically to fake anthrax attacks.

Curry's claims do not seem to have caused any community panic or to have diverted law enforcement resources, with the possible exception of police testing him for COVID-19. And given how jails across the country have become hotspots of the disease, it should frankly be standard practice to test inmates for it.

If the letter of the anti-hoax law can be stretched to apply to Curry's case, that suggests the law is overbroad and needs to be pared back.

NEXT: The Trump Administration Wants To Subsidize Domestic Drug Manufacturing. The First Contract Looks Like a $350 Million Grift.

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  1. //”I have corona, bitch, and I’m spreading it around.”//


    Buttfucking men with AIDS? Hero!

    1. Hey you ARE a hero.

      1. Hahahaha, Guzba walked right into that one!

        1. How do you know he didn’t back into it?

          1. Face to face is more humane.

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    2. As a former Police Officer; hell, as a self-respecting person I would beat the shit out of him as a matter of self-defense! Use of my revolver would be excessive, but splitting his head open like a ripe melón would could be accomplished with a single blow with my baton. Which of you self-professed libertarian among you will deny the first blow was’t in self-defense? Whatever the asshole was initially charged with, will be reconciled with the facts and amended (e,g, attempted murder, victim dies – murder); so get off your high horses

      1. Cracking a person’s head open for spitting on you is something you view to be justified? If there was ever a case to be made for cops getting killed in the line of duty being a benefit to society, you sir, have made that case.

        1. Cracking a person’s head open for spitting on you is something you view to be justified?

          Nooo… but I will admit if someone spit on me a cracked skull might be a best case scenario. I have a bit of a temper sometimes about stuff like that.

      2. What a maroon. This can’t be a real cop can it? Are they really this stupid and brazen?

    3. If you are butfucking men with AIDS, you are only putting yourself at risk…. 🙂

      1. You misunderstood.

        Buttfucking men, with AIDS. As in, men with AIDS, that buttfuck others.

        1. No, you failed to accurately write what you ment.

        2. I read it the other way too, but you’re right.

          If it was some perverse bugchasers spreading HIV everywhere, they would’ve been woke heroes rather than terrorists.

  2. I blame Trump’s Muslim travel ban. If more Muslims came into the country then our boys in blue (black) would have some real terrorist to handle instead of this idiot. Can we train some more SA pilots maybe?

  3. Anyone seen Florida Man lately?

    1. Once again, Florida Man can be relied upon to test the boundaries of possible behavior

    2. He’s at the beach, enjoying his freedoms.

  4. There was a case several years back of a woman who spread some minor toxin on a doorknob; she was also charged with bioterrorism, possession of WMD, something like that. It ultimately got thrown out, as this one should too, for being silly.

    1. Well, when your mom refuses to wipe the semen off her hands with a towel, shit like this is bound to happen.

  5. I fart in your general direction.

    Interesting new definition of ‘weapon’.
    New tough-guy boast is now: this saliva is registered as a lethal weapon the the ATF.

    1. I fart in your general direction.

      Damn. Too slow.

      1. Now run away before you get taunted a second time

    2. Terrorism! Chemical Weapons!

  6. I guess the old saying is true that you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

    1. It’s not only true, it’s become an understatement.

    2. The indictment is trivial; no defense is allowed.
      It is the conviction that is hard to come by.

  7. Curry told officers he had coronavirus and then coughed in their direction

    They were able to get into the girlfriend’s apartment by concealing themselves in a large wooden rabbit.

  8. Sounds like a federal bureaucracy that has serious confidence issues trying its best to show the public how much it has corrected its ways.

    1. Yup, this’ll take care of that public trust thing.

  9. Why didn’t the cops just give him the total beat down that is normal in these situations?

    Did they feel that 5 years in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass lockup was a better revenge?

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