Capitol riots: Who has the FBI arrested so far?

By Tara McKelvey
BBC White House reporter

image copyrightGetty Images

The suspects in the Capitol riot are a varied group: they include a West Virginia lawmaker, a Florida firefighter and a QAnon shaman from Arizona.

It’s been over a week since the Capitol Hill riot – how much progress has law enforcement made bringing the perpetrators to justice?

How many arrests so far?

More than 170 case files have been opened and 70 people charged so far, said Michael Sherwin, US Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Some of the misdemeanour charges filed so far are “just the beginning”, he said, with officials looking at “significant felony cases” tied to sedition and conspiracy.

  • The Capitol police officer hailed as a ‘hero’

After a week of FBI appeals for help identifying the man seen carrying a Confederate flag in the Capitol during the riots, a man was arrested on Thursday in Delaware, according to US media reports.

image copyrightGetty Images

In the pictures, which ricocheted around the world, he is dressed in jeans and a black sweatshirt, and appears to have a tattoo under one of his eyes. He has been named as Kevin Seefried and is due in court on Thursday afternoon.

On Sunday, the Department of Justice announced the arrests of two men who were allegedly pictured bringing plastic restraints into the Capitol.

image copyrightGetty Images

Authorities say Eric Gavelek Munchel is the individual seen carrying a number of plastic zip ties inside the Senate chamber. He was detained in Tennessee. Larry Rendell Brock, who is accused of entering the Capitol with a white flex cuff – a restraining device used by law enforcement – was arrested in Texas.

His ex-wife turned him in. “When I saw this was happening, I was afraid he would be there,” she told investigators, describing how she felt when she heard about the riots. Then she saw the images, and she recognised her former husband: “It is such a good picture of him.”

So far, neither has been accused of plotting to use the restraints, but face disorderly conduct and violent entry charges.

The FBI is still seeking dozens more individuals and has asked the public to help identify and locate them.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionOfficials have named the dangling rioter above as Josiah Colt of Idaho

What are law enforcement saying about progress?

Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters on Tuesday that they have been inundated with information and tips from the public: so far, they have received about 100,000 videos and photos.

Justice Department officials said they are considering filing serious charges of seditious activity against some individuals who were involved in the siege on the Capitol.

According to federal criminal code, seditious conspiracy means an effort to conspire to overthrow the US government. The punishment is severe: up to 20 years in prison.

US Attorneys in Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky and other states have also pledged to prosecute anyone who travelled from their regions to take part in the riot.

Who are the key people charged so far?

Analysis by BBC Monitoring and BBC Reality Check

Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli or as he describes himself the “Q Shaman”, is a well-known follower of the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory who lives in Glendale, Arizona.

QAnon supporters believe President Trump and a secret military intelligence team are battling a deep state cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles in the Democratic Party, media, business and Hollywood.

Known for appearing with a painted face, fur hat and horns while carrying a “Q sent me” banner in public, Mr Chansley, 33, has been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct after appearing in multiple images inside the halls of Congress and the Senate chamber.

His mother told a local ABC News station on Monday that Mr Chansley had not eaten since his arrest because the detention facility wouldn’t serve him all organic food.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionJacob Anthony Chansley is alleged to be the man seen wearing horns and a fur hat in photographs, including this from inside the Senate chamber

In videos posted to his social media accounts, he shouts about child-trafficking in front of government buildings or inside shopping malls, and attends pro-Trump or QAnon-linked “save our children” rallies.

Like many of his fellow QAnon followers, Mr Chansley says he believes Covid-19 is a hoax.

President Trump – viewed as a hero by the movement – has stopped short of endorsing the conspiracy theory but has described QAnon activists as “people who love our country.”

image copyrightIgor Bobic
image captionOfficer Eugene Goodman confronts Doug Jensen

Doug Jensen, 41, from Des Moines, Iowa, appeared in one of the most widely shared videos of the riots showing a lone African American officer holding back the mob.

Mr Jensen has been arrested and faces five federal charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct and obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.

In it, he can be seen chasing a police officer up a flight of stairs inside the Capitol wearing a shirt with the QAnon slogan “trust the plan”.

Mr Jensen later identified himself on his Twitter account, tweeting: “You like my shirt?” and “Me…” under images of him inside the Capitol shared by fellow QAnon supporters.

On his Twitter, Mr Jensen regularly expresses support for President Trump, engages with well-known QAnon accounts, and tweets QAnon phrases such as WWG1WGA – short for “where we go one we go all” – a rallying cry for the conspiracy’s adherents.

Nick Ochs was arrested at an airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, by the FBI, as he returned home from Washington DC.

He’s accused of unlawful entry of restricted buildings or grounds, after he posted a picture smoking a cigarette inside the Capitol building, tweeting: “Hello from the Capital lol”.

Mr Ochs describes himself as a “Proud Boy Elder from Hawaii”. The Proud Boys is an anti-immigrant and all male far-right group founded in 2016.

President Trump addressed this group specifically in the first presidential debate. In response to a question about white supremacists and militias he said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

Richard Barnett is the man pictured with his feet on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. He was also pictured outside the Capitol with a personalised envelope he took from her office.

He’s been arrested for unlawful entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public money, property, or records.

image copyrightAFP

Mr Barnett is 60 years old and from Arkansas.

Local media reports say Mr Barnett is involved in a group that supports gun rights, and that he was interviewed at a “Stop the Steal” rally following the presidential election – the movement that supports President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.

One of the most striking images from that day showed a man wearing a hoodie with the words: “Camp Auschwitz”. Auschwitz was a Nazi extermination camp where more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered during World War Two by Germany.

For many, the slogan showed some of the dark forces behind the protests.

Mr Packer was arrested in Virginia and has been charged with trespassing in a federal building and “violent entry and disorderly conduct” on Capitol grounds.

image copyrightPolice handout
image captionMr Packer wore an outfit that appeared to pay homage to the Holocaust

Less than a month after he was sworn in as a Republican delegate in the West Virginia state legislature, Mr Evans filmed himself pushing through the crowd as he stormed the Capitol wearing what appears to be a motorcycle helmet.

“We’re going in,” he said in the now-deleted Facebook live stream. “We did it! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” he yelled, adding, “patriots inside, baby!”

His participation in the riot led lawmakers in his home state to consider cutting off his access to the West Virginia statehouse.

But within a week of the riot, he had resigned. He is facing federal charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Northeastern University’s Max Abrahms, a political-science professor who studies counterterrorism, explains that it can take time to track down a suspect – for a variety of reasons.

“This could be an individual who doesn’t have a lot of friends or colleagues,” Abrahms says of the man seen waving the Confederate flag, who was not identified for more than a week.

“It could also be that the people who know him are sympathetic to him. The people who know him – it could be that they have his back.”

Other arrests include:

  • Nicholas Rodean – The Maryland man was fired from his job after he was seen wearing his work ID badge to the riot
  • Aaron Mostofsky – The 34-year-old son of a Brooklyn judge was freed after posting a $100,000 bail. Pictures from the riot showed him wearing furs and a police tactical vest that he is accused of stealing
  • William Pepe – The New York City transit worker was suspended without pay after officials said he called out sick from work to travel to Washington and participate in the riot
  • Andrew Williams – The Florida firefighter was arrested after a picture online showed him wearing a Trump hat and pointing to a placard bearing the name of Democrat Nancy Pelosi
  • Josiah Colt – The Idaho man was pictured dangling from a Senate balcony after rioters stormed the chamber and is facing charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing
  • Adam Johnson, 36 of Florida, was photographed holding up the House speaker’s lectern and smiling during the Capitol siege. He has been charged with theft of government property and the lectern has since been returned
  • Jenny Cudd, the owner of a flower shop once ran for mayor in Midland, Texas. According to officials, she posted a video where she said: “We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door”
  • Klete Keller, a two-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer, has been charged after online sleuths spotted that he wore his Olympic jacket to the Capitol

Related Topics

Source link