U.S. Capitol riot: 14 rioters arrested and charged in federal court

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McConnell says Trump proved mob attack on U.S. Capitol

Thirteen rioters have been arrested and charged in the federal court in the District of Columbia and another one in the federal court in West Virginia for their involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot on Wednesday, January 6.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), its investigation into the U.S. capitol riot is ongoing and has submitted additional complaints against rioters.

On Wednesday, pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building to stop lawmakers from certifying the Electoral Colleges votes for Joe Biden and declaring him as the winner in the November presidential elections. The insurrection resulted in the death of five individuals including a Capitol Police officer.

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The 14 rioters were charged with federal crimes including assault on federal law enforcement, illegal possession if firearms on Capitol grounds, illegally entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent and disorderly conduct, theft of public money, property or records, and other offenses.

Authorities are determined to hold accountable all those involved in the U.S. Capitol riot

In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said, “The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions. My Office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol.”

Additionally, U.S. Attorney Sherwin said they are committed and determined to “holding accountable” any person responsible for “these disgraceful criminal acts.”

He also warned, “Anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks – know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

On the other hand, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the charges against the 14 rioters are “just the beginning” of the bureau’s ongoing efforts to bring justice who committed criminal acts of violence and destruction at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

“To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy…We will continue to aggressively investigate each and every individual who chose to ignore the law and instead incite violence, destroy property, and injure others,” according to Director Wray.

West Virginia state lawmaker among the U.S. Capitol rioters charged with criminal offenses

The 14 U.S. Capitol rioters charged with federal crimes include:

  1. Derrick Evans–a newly-elected Republican state lawmaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He is facing two charges:  knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds. He appeared before a federal judge in Huntington, West Virginia. The judge released him on a personal recognizance bond.
  2. Richard Barnett of Arkansas–is the rioter who entered the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sat on her chair with his feet up on her desk. He was arrested and charged with with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property, or records.
  3. Cleveland Meredith- charged with making interstate threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  4. Lonnie Coffman of Alabama- charged with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. His vehicle allegedly contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. Additionally, he allegedly possessed two firearms. He is in custody and his detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021.
  5. Mark Leffingwell- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; assault on a federal law enforcement officer; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Leffingwell allegedly entered the Senate side of the Capitol and when stopped by law enforcement, struck an officer in the helmet and chest. He is in custody and his detention hearing was held on Friday.
  6. Christopher Alberts of Maryland- charged with carrying or having readily accessible firearm and ammunition on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building. He specifically carried a Taurus G2C, 9mm handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.
  7. Joshua Pruitt- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.
  8. Matthew Council of Florida- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He allegedly unlawfully entered the Capitol building, and when stopped by law enforcement, he pushed the officer.
  9. Cindy Fitchett of Virginia- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.
  10. Michael Curzio of Florida- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.
  11. Douglas Sweet of Florida- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.
  12. Bradley Ruskelas of Illinois- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.
  13. Terry Brown of Pennsylvania- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.
  14. Thomas Gallagher- charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or 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.

In addition to these 14 rioters, 40 other individuals were  arrested and charged with criminal offenses in the Superior Court.

FBI, MPD seeking information to identify persons of interest involved in the U.S. Capitol riot

U.S. Capitol Insurrection Persons of Interest
The FBI is seeking information about these persons of interests involved in the U.S. Capitol insurrection on January 6.