Law enforcement agencies continue to make arrests related to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths and forced members of Congress into lockdown for hours.
The arrests began last week, with Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, expressing frustration that many of those who ransacked the Capitol were allowed to just leave the building, in some cases being politely escorted out by police.
“I’m not going to play Monday-morning quarterback to see when or why they didn’t do it,” Sherwin said in a conference call with the media last week. “But the scenario has made our job difficult because we now have to go through the process — cell-site orders, video — to try to identify people and charge them and then try to execute their arrest.”
“That has made things challenging,” he continued. “But I can’t answer why or why not those people weren’t zip-tied as they were leaving the building.”
Here are some of the dozens of arrests tied to the attempted insurrection carried out by militant supporters of President Trump.
Griffin, who serves as a county commissioner in New Mexico, did not enter the Capitol building, but federal authorities say he was on restricted ground. He is alleged to have spoken at an Otero County council meeting on Jan. 14 where he described the Jan. 6 trip and pledged to return to Washington with firearms. During the storming of the Capitol, Griffin claimed he was using a bullhorn to lead attendees in prayer.
In a now deleted video on the Facebook page “Cowboys for Trump,” prosecutors allege, Griffin threatened violence on the inauguration, saying, “You want to say that that was a mob? You want to say that was violence? No sir. No Ma’am. No we could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps [where] we had that rally yesterday. You know, and if we do, then it’s gonna be a sad day, because there’s gonna be blood running out of that building.”
Last May, Trump retweeted a video that featured Griffin saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Thomas Edward Caldwell
Caldwell was arrested in Virginia on Jan. 19 and charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. Authorities allege he is a leader of the extremist militia group the Oath Keepers. According to a Washington Post report, Caldwell is accused of leading a group of eight to 10 individuals “who wore helmets and military-style gear and were seen moving purposefully toward the top of the Capitol steps and leading the move against police lines.”
The FBI alleges that Caldwell was recorded on video inside the Capitol building describing what happened.
“Proud boys scuffled with cops and drove them inside to hide. Breached the doors. One guy made it all the way to the house floor, another to Pelosi’s office,” Caldwell reportedly said. “A good time.”
He then allegedly added: “We need to do this at the local level. Lets [sic] storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”
The Texas real estate agent, who took a private plane to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6 rally, was arrested Jan. 15 after turning herself in to authorities. Ryan told NBC News she was invited on the trip by a “very cute guy” and that she went to the Capitol with her friends after watching Vice President Mike Pence begin to formally count the Electoral College votes on television.
“We’re going to f***ing go in here. Life or death. It doesn’t matter. Here we go,” Ryan said on a Facebook Live video as she entered the Capitol, according to prosecutors, adding, “Y’all know who to hire for your Realtor. Jenna Ryan for your Realtor.”
“We were going in solidarity with President Trump,” Ryan told NBC News. “President Trump requested that we be in D.C. on the 6th. So this was our way of going and stopping the steal.”
“I, personally, feel innocent in everything that I have done,” she continued. “I feel like I was perfectly within my rights. I feel like the police officers were ushering people into the Capitol. There were thousands of people there. I have no guilt in my heart.”
Seefried was seen in a number of riot photos carrying a Confederate flag through the Capitol building. The Delaware man and his son Hunter Seefried were both arrested. The FBI had circulated a flier with an image of Seefried carrying the flag. According to court documents, the FBI received a tip from a co-worker of Hunter Seefried after he bragged about being in attendance at the insurrection.
The complaint alleges that the younger Seefried was also captured on video taking a selfie inside and smashing out glass windows. The document also states that the elder Seefried “explained that he brought the Confederate Battle flag … to the District of Columbia from his home in Delaware where it is usually displayed outside.” The FBI said that both men confirmed they were in attendance.
The 49-year-old school therapist was arrested in Ohio on Jan. 14 for knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, as well as violent entry and unlawful activities on Capitol grounds. Priola was photographed on the Senate dais holding a sign saying, “The Children Cry Out for Justice.”
She resigned her position last week in a letter laden with references to QAnon-adjacent conspiracies. Priola wrote that she was “switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children’s services agencies.” She added that would not be taking the COVID-19 vaccine required to return to in-person learning and that she did “not agree with my union dues which help fund people and groups that support the killing of unborn children.”
Gieswein, of Woodland Park, Colo., turned himself in to police on Monday, the Denver Post reported. Video footage from the Jan. 6 siege showed Gieswein spraying a Capitol Police officer with an unknown substance while the officer was trying to keep the crowd from pushing down barricades. The FBI used the video and images taken of Gieswein inside and outside the Capitol building to identify him, as well as a television interview he gave the day before the riot in which he mentioned an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory involving Democrats.
Gieswein appears to be affiliated with at least one antigovernment militia movement, the Three Percenters, according to the arrest warrant.
He faces multiple charges, including the assault of a federal officer and destruction of government property.
The Virginia man, arrested Jan. 13, was identified because of the “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt he was wearing while raiding the Capitol. (More than 1.1 million people were killed during the Holocaust at Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp in Poland.) According to the criminal complaint, a store owner near Newport News, Va., recognized Packer as a customer and contacted law enforcement, providing a photo of Packer with the same sweatshirt. A CNN report described Packer as “a longtime extremist who has had run-ins with the law.”
The 56-year-old retired firefighter from Pennsylvania was arrested Jan. 14 for allegedly throwing a fire extinguisher at a police officer outside the Capitol. (The incident is separate from the one that resulted in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.) According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported Sanford’s arrest, the FBI was tipped off by a friend of his. According to the statement of facts filed in the case, Sanford said he took a bus to D.C. with a group “and then had followed the President’s instructions and gone to the Capitol.”
The two-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming was arrested Jan. 13 in Colorado on charges of violently entering the Capitol grounds, engaging in disorderly conduct there and obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties. The 38-year-old was identified last week by swimming fans who recognized the 6-foot-6 Olympian on social media. Keller was also wearing a Nike jacket that bore a U.S. Olympic Team patch. According to the criminal complaint, Keller was identified due to his height and jacket from a video uploaded by Townhall Media.
Anthime Joseph Gionet
The far-right media personality known as Baked Alaska was arrested on Jan. 15 after he’d live-streamed himself inside the Capitol during the riot. After being banned from Twitter and YouTube, Gionet used the service DLive to broadcast 27 minutes that included him saying, “Patriots are in control,” and “We are in the Capitol building — 1776 will commence again.” At one point on the broadcast, Gionet claimed he was a member of the media.
Vice News reported that the FBI was using Gionet’s live stream to help track down other rioters. According to the New York Times, he could have made more than $2,000 from the live stream, although DLive suspended accounts that broadcast from the riot and refunded donations and subscriptions.
Larry R. Brock
Brock, a 53-year-old Texan, was arrested on Jan. 10 after agreeing to meet the FBI at his local police station. The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel was photographed on the Senate floor on Jan. 6 wearing tactical gear, including a distinctive patch with a yellow fleur de lis, the insignia of the 706th Fighter Squadron.
According to the criminal complaint, Brock’s ex-wife of 18 years provided a tip to the FBI.
“I just know that when I saw this was happening I was afraid he would be there,” she told the FBI. “I think you already know he was there. It is such a good picture of him and I recognize his patch.”
Another witness emailed a photo of Brock to the FBI and wrote, “It looks like him and he has pilot wings on his chest in this picture. He was [an A-10 attack jet] pilot.”
Brock has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, along with violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Last week, family members and a friend told the New Yorker that Brock’s views had grown increasingly radical. He confirmed to the outlet that he had been part of the siege, stating, “The President asked for his supporters to be there to attend, and I felt like it was important, because of how much I love this country, to actually be there.”
Johnson, a 36-year-old man from Florida, was arrested Jan. 8 on multiple charges related to his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot. He was seen in a widely circulated photograph smiling and waving while carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the Capitol Rotunda.
He was wearing a knit Trump hat with the number “45” on the front. Johnson is a stay-at-home-dad, taking care of the five kids he has with his wife, a physician.
According to Johnson’s arrest warrant, the FBI used the photo as well his social media posts and a tip from a mutual friend to locate him. He was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Ark., was arrested Jan. 8 in Bentonville, Ark., on multiple criminal charges related to his actions during the riot.
During the siege, Barnett was photographed sitting in Pelosi’s office with his feet on her desk. He told reporters afterward that he left her a “nasty note” and was photographed with an envelope bearing the House speaker’s name. (He insisted he didn’t steal it, telling a New York Times reporter: “I left a quarter on her desk.”)
Barnett was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public money, property or records. He made his initial appearance in federal court on Jan. 12, and will ultimately be extradited to Washington, D.C.
Jacob Anthony Chansley
More commonly known as Jake Angeli, Chansley provided perhaps the most indelible image of the attempted insurrection, standing shirtless atop the Senate dais with his face painted, multiple tattoos, a horned headdress, a bullhorn and a spear with an American flag tied to it.
Known as the “Q Shaman,” Chansley was a regular attendee at QAnon-related events. He’s a prominent member of the QAnon community, which believes in the baseless conspiracy theory that Trump is attempting to thwart a cabal of pedophiles who secretly control the government. At many events in Arizona, where he resides, Chansley carried a sign that said “Q sent me.”
The 33-year-old surrendered to authorities on Jan. 9 after being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. According to FBI documents, Chansley said he was there “as part of a group effort, with other ‘patriots’ from Arizona, at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”
“The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win,” Chansley told NBC News last week, adding, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I walked through an open door, dude.”
Evans was elected to the West Virginia state legislature last month but resigned Jan. 9 after facing two federal charges for his role in the riot. The 35-year-old live-streamed the event on Facebook, shouting, “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
While Evans deleted the video from his page, it was captured by a user on Reddit. Federal documents provide a rundown of the live stream, including Evans fist-bumping a Capitol Police officer and saying, “We still respect you, all right?”
Evans was taken into custody by the FBI on Jan. 8.
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans said in a statement released following his resignation. “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians.”
The FBI said Jan. 12 that agents in New York City arrested Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, in connection with last week's siege on the U.S. Capitol. Mostofsky was seen in photos and on video inside the Capitol dressed in fur pelts and what appeared to be a bulletproof vest. He was also carrying a Capitol Police shield.
In an interview with a New York Post reporter during the riot, Mostofsky said he believed “the election was stolen” and that “we were cheated.”
“I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump — I think it was 85 million,” he said, adding that he had found the police shield on the floor.
Jensen, a 41-year-old Iowa man, was arrested on Jan. 9 and faces five federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disrupting the orderly conduct of government business; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building; and obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.
Jensen, who was wearing a QAnon sweatshirt on the day of the assault, was caught on video confronting and then chasing a Black police officer who was attempting to stop the mob from storming the Senate.
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Jensen’s brother, William Routh, told the Associated Press that Jensen believed that Q — an internet presence claiming to be a government official who posts cryptic messages — was Trump or someone close to Trump.
“I feel like he had a lot of influence from the internet that confused or obscured his views on certain things. When I talked to him, he thought that maybe this was Trump telling him what to do,” Routh said.
The founder and leader of a Hawaii-based chapter of the far-right Proud Boys group, Ochs was arrested at the airport on Jan. 7 on a charge of unlawful entry into a restricted building or grounds. Ochs, who mounted a failed bid for the Hawaii state legislature last year, posted a photo to Twitter of himself with a cigarette in his mouth along with the caption “Hello from the Capital lol.”
“We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed,” Ochs told CNN last week, claiming he was working as a professional journalist when he entered the building. “There were thousands of people in there — they had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”
Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr.
Meredith drove from Colorado to Washington, D.C., armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and 2,500 rounds of ammunition, according to federal court documents. He had intended to take part in the Jan. 6 riot, per authorities, but arrived late because he had to stop for car repairs. In a text message the next day, Meredith threatened to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying he wanted to “put a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin.” He had also texted about killing D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
He was arrested in a hotel room and charged with making the threat and illegally possessing a gun and ammunition, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Eric Gavelek Munchel
Munchel, a Tennessee resident, was photographed in the Senate chamber carrying plastic restraints used by police to detain suspects. His tactical gear included patches that showed the logo of the Punisher, a comic book character, over the American flag and a “thin blue line” — indicating support of police — in the shape of Tennessee.
The 30-year-old was booked into a Nashville jail on Jan. 10. According to an interview with the Times of London, Munchel attended the rally with his mother, stating, “We wanted to show that we’re willing to rise up, band together and fight if necessary. Same as our forefathers, who established this country in 1776. It was a kind of flexing of muscles.” On Jan. 16, Munchel’s mother, Lisa Marie Eisenhart, was also arrested.
The Tennessean reported that someone named Eric Munchel worked at Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk in Nashville but was terminated 60 days ago. Munchel was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He has not been charged with any additional crimes in relation to the plastic zip ties, which some speculated could have been used to take lawmakers hostage.
Rukstales, the CEO of the suburban Chicago marketing firm Cogensia, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Two days following the assault on the Capitol, Cogensia announced that Rukstales had been fired, saying his “actions were inconsistent with [our] core values.”
Rukstales issued a statement last week that said he entered the building “to see what was taking place inside.”
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so. Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington,” he continued, adding, “I offer my sincere apologies for my indiscretion, and I deeply regret that my actions have brought embarrassment to my family, colleagues, friends and fellow countrymen. ... It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”
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