May 20, 2024


Automotive to Us

Who has the FBI arrested so far?

FBI wanted poster seen in DC
FBI wanted poster seen in DC

The suspects in the Capitol riot are a varied group: they include a West Virginia lawmaker, a Florida firefighter and a left-wing activist from Utah.

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 200 case files have been opened. According to the FBI, more than 100 arrests have been made in connection with the Capitol siege.

Michael Sherwin, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, said officials are looking at “significant felony cases” tied to sedition and conspiracy.

A man allegedly seen in viral photos carrying a Confederate flag in the Capitol during the riots was charged on Thursday.

Authorities named him as Kevin Seefried and he appeared with his son, Hunter, in a Wilmington, Delaware court.

They jointly face charges including entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct.

Man seen carrying a Confederate flag in the US Capitol
Man seen carrying a Confederate flag in the US Capitol

According to court documents cited by the Delaware News Journal, the duo got into the Capitol building through a window that Hunter helped break, before they “verbally confronted” US Capitol Police officers and the son took a selfie.

Mr Seefried Sr told investigators he normally flies the battle flag outside his home in Laurel, Delaware.

The Confederate flag is widely seen as a racist symbol as it was the banner of the slaveholding southern states that lost the US Civil War (1861-65).

Meanwhile, a left-wing activist has been arrested after tweeting video of himself inside the US Capitol as protesters breached security.

John Sullivan, 26, was charged with entering a restricted building and violent entry or disorderly conduct. He claimed in media interviews that he was just “documenting” the rampage, though the affidavit notes he has no press credentials.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan said he was at the Capitol to “document” events

The court document says Mr Sullivan can be heard saying in a video he filmed of the Capitol riot: “Let’s burn this shit down.” He has identified himself in media interviews as a Black Lives Matter supporter, but rejects any association with antifa, a loosely affiliated group of far-left protesters.

Following the death of George Floyd last year, Mr Sullivan founded an activist group called Insurgence USA that advocates for racial justice. He was charged in July 2020 with felony riot and criminal mischief over civil unrest in Provo, Utah.

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

Man carrying plastic restraints in US senate
Man carrying plastic restraints in US senate

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.

Officials have named the dangling rioter above as Josiah Colt of Idaho
Officials have named the dangling rioter above as Josiah Colt of Idaho

What are law enforcement officials saying about progress?

Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters this week that they have been inundated with information and tips from the public.

As of Thursday, the Justice Department has received about 140,000 videos and photos.

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.

New details about how some of the rioters, or organisers of the assault, may have financed their operations have also been revealed by a cryptocurrency data firm, Chainalysis. According to the firm, a number of far-right activists received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments in Bitcoin before the assault on the Capitol.

Who are the key people charged so far?

Analysis by BBC Monitoring and BBC Reality Check

Robert Keith Packer

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.

Mr Packer wore an outfit that appeared to pay homage to the Holocaust
Mr Packer wore an outfit that appeared to pay homage to the Holocaust

Jake Angeli – ‘Q Shaman’

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.

According to a local ABC news station, a judge has agreed that Mr Chansley should be “provided food in line with a shaman’s strict organic diet” after he refused to eat the meals provided at the jailhouse.

Through his attorney, the defendant has requested a pardon from Mr Trump, citing “the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr Chansley comported himself” during the riot.

A man in horns and a fur hat, alleged to be Jake Angeli, pictured inside the Senate chamber
Jacob 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.”

Officer Eugene Goodman confronts a pro-Trump rioter
Officer Eugene Goodman confronts Doug Jensen

Doug Jensen – QAnon

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 – Proud Boys

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

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.

Richard Barnett, sits with one boot disrespectfully on a desk that is at the very centre of power in Congress.
Richard Barnett, sits with one boot disrespectfully on a desk that is at the very centre of power in Congress.

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.

Derrick Evans

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.

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 is the owner of a flower shop who 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

  • Robert Sandford, a recently retired firefighter from a Philadelphia suburb, is accused of assaulting officers by throwing a fire extinguisher at them

  • Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, off-duty police officers from Rocky Mount, Virginia, are accused of trespassing and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds

  • Jon Schaffer, the guitarist from heavy metal band Iced Earth, faces six charges, including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. He was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with bear spray