Political News

Key arrests so far from the Capitol riot

Posted January 13, 2021 8:18 p.m. EST
Updated January 14, 2021 7:07 a.m. EST

Pro-Trump protesters storm US Capitol as lawmakers gather to count electoral votes

— More than 30 people have been arrested on federal charges relating to last week's deadly pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol.

Some of the defendants are accused of bringing weapons to Capitol Hill. Others were photographed ransacking the building. Many are charged with unlawful entry or violent entry.

Here's what we know about some of those who have been arrested.

Richard 'Bigo' Barnett

Barnett, of Arkansas, was photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the January 6 riots, authorities say.

Federal authorities say he was taken into custody two days later in Little Rock.

Barnett, known as Bigo, was caught on video surveillance entering Pelosi's office area around 2:50 p.m. ET with an American flag and cell phone and leaving six minutes later with only his cell phone, according to court documents. He was photographed with his boot propped on a desk and the flag draped nearby.

He later spoke with news media outlets and was captured on video holding an envelope from Pelosi's office. Barnett told a reporter, "I did not steal it." He said he took the envelope because he had bled on it and "put a quarter on her desk," according to court filings signed by a special agent with US Capitol Police.

Barnett was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds as well as the theft of public property, according to a criminal complaint.

He is in FBI custody, according to the sheriff's office in Benton County, Arkansas.

CNN reached an attorney for Barnett, who said he would provide a statement.

Larry Rendell Brock

Prosecutors say Brock, a 53-year-old retired Air Force Reserve officer from Texas, was photographed roaming the Senate chamber clutching a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain or detain subjects. Photos show the man sporting a military helmet, green tactical vest and black-and-camo jacket.

Brock was arrested January 10. He 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, according to a Justice Department news release.

In an interview with the New Yorker, Brock denied he holds racist views and repeated President Donald Trump's baseless assertions of election fraud.

He also said that he was opposed to vandalizing the building, and was dismayed when he learned of the extent of the destruction. "I know it looks menacing," he told the New Yorker. "That was not my intent."

Jacob Anthony Chansley

Chansley, an Arizona man also known as Jake Angeli, was seen in photos at the Capitol, shirtless and donning face paint and a bearskin headdress with horns, according to his arrest warrant.

He was taken into custody January 9 and was 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, federal authorities said.

CNN's attempts to reach his attorney weren't immediately successful.

Chansley told the FBI he came to Washington "as a part of a group effort, with other 'patriots' from Arizona, at the request of the President that all 'patriots' come to DC on January 6, 2021," according to a narrative from investigators in his court record.

Chansley had called the FBI the day after the attack and confirmed to the agency he was the person seen in photos in the vice president's chair in the Senate, the court document said.

Known by followers as the QAnon Shaman, he had a Facebook page filled with posts evoking the conspiracy theories of QAnon, whose adherents believe that there is a cabal of Satan-worshipping sexual abusers who have infiltrated the highest reaches of American government and are being opposed by Trump.

He served in the US Navy from 2005 to October 2007, records show.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman

Prosecutors say Coffman, of Falkville, Alabama, was arrested after authorities found 11 homemade bombs, an assault rifle and a handgun in his truck parked two blocks from the Capitol during the riot.

He was charged with unlawful possession of a destructive device and carrying a pistol without a license, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Coffman, 70, told police he had jars filled with "melted Styrofoam and gasoline," according to a sworn statement from authorities announced on January 8.

Federal investigators believe that combination, if exploded, would have "the effect of napalm insofar as it causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits upon detonation," according to the court record.

Coffman had parked his pickup truck on the morning of January 6 near the National Republican Club, commonly called the Capitol Hill Club, within a block of a large US House office building and the Library of Congress, according to the complaint. The truck had a handgun on the passenger seat and an M4 Carbine assault rifle, along with rifle magazines loaded with ammunition, police said.

When police found and searched him about a block away after dusk, Coffman was carrying a 9mm handgun and a .22-caliber handgun in each of his front pockets, the police complaint said. None of the weapons found in his truck or on his person were registered to him.

A federal judge ruled January 12 that Coffman would remain in jail while he awaits trial on the weapons charges.

Investigators found handwritten notes in Coffman's truck that included a quote about the need "to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution," according to court records.

The notes also included the names of a Democratic member of Congress that he singled out for being Muslim, and an Obama-appointed judge. The handwritten notes also contained references to right-wing conspiracy websites, according to the records.

Prosecutors have not accused Coffman of participating in the attack on the Capitol building. His lawyer, Tony Miles, said at a hearing on January 12 that Coffman was "innocent" of the charges and questioned the strength of the case. He noted that Coffman was an Army veteran who fought in Vietnam.

Derrick Evans

Evans, who at the time was a West Virginia state lawmaker, is in a video that shows him in a crowd that broke through a large, ornamental Capitol Hill door, authorities say.

Evans 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.

A federal magistrate judge in West Virginia released Evans on his personal recognizance after he appeared in court January 8, according to court records.

Evans, who has denied taking part in destruction and violence, resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates on January 9.

"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 news release on the West Virginia legislature's website.

"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. I hope this action I take today can remove any cloud of distraction from the state Legislature, so my colleagues can get to work in earnest building a brighter future for our state."

CNN obtained video that federal prosecutors say Evans livestreamed on Facebook -- and later deleted -- while in the crowd.

Although he deleted the video, according to a criminal complaint, someone uploaded a copy of it to Reddit. Prosecutors claim in the criminal complaint that Evans is the man heard in the video.

In the video, Evans is heard asking someone, at one point outside the Capitol, "Are they still fighting the cops there?"

"We're in," Evans yells once inside the Capitol, as others continue to enter the building.

Evans has said he only filmed the event as an "independent member of the media to film history," though it does not appear he has any experience working as one.

Evans' lawyer, John Bryan, declined to provide comment to CNN about the charges.

However, Bryan told CNN in a statement January 7 that his client "had no choice but to enter" the Capitol due to the size of the crowd he was in, and that "it wasn't apparent to Mr. Evans that he wasn't allowed to follow the crowd into this public area of the Capitol, inside which members of the public were already located."

Douglas Jensen

Video shows Jensen, 41, chasing a Black Capitol Police officer up some stairs during the riot, according to a CNN comparative analysis of his booking photo and posts on social media.

On a Twitter account bearing his name, Jensen twice identified himself in one of the pictures that was circulating online after the riot. His neighbor in Des Moines, Iowa, confirmed to CNN affiliate KCCI that the man in the photos was Jensen.

Jensen -- dressed in a QAnon T-shirt -- is also seen gesturing toward another Capitol police officer in an Associated Press photo taken by photojournalist Manuel Balce Ceneta.

In video captured by the Huffington Post's Igor Bobic, Jensen -- wearing the same QAnon T-shirt -- is seen chasing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with a mob of rioters following him. Once at the top of a set of stairs, the officer glances toward a doorway to his left that leads to the Senate floor and moves away from it and toward the camera, steering the mob away from the Senate floor.

Jensen was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a violent crowd breaking into the Capitol, according to the FBI and local authorities in Iowa.

FBI officials presented Jensen to Polk County Jail for processing on January 9.

He faces federal charges including unlawfully entering the Capitol, disrupting government business, violent entry and parading in a Capitol building and blocking law enforcement during the riot, according to the FBI.

CNN's attempts to contact a lawyer for Jensen weren't immediately successful.

Adam Johnson

Johnson, 36, was arrested in Florida days after the riot, accused of stealing the House speaker's lectern, according to a news release.

Johnson 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.

Johnson was released on a $25,000 signature bond, CNN affiliate WFTS reported. He is subject to a monitoring system and curfew, had to surrender firearms and his passport, and is due January 19 in federal court in Washington, WFTS reported.

Attorneys for Johnson said a viral picture showing him with carrying the lectern at the Capitol could be problematic moving forward with his case, according to the affiliate.

"Mr. Johnson, clearly, is taking this very seriously," attorney David Bigney said, according to video posted by WFTS.

"What we're dealing with is a lot of notoriety, simply because of a photograph that was taken in an instant, a lot of judgment based on that photograph, which has led to death threats to Adam and his family."

Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr.

Meredith arrived in Washington, DC, from Colorado on the day of the riot with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and an assault rifle -- and he texted acquaintances on the next day that he wanted to shoot or run over Pelosi, authorities alleged in federal court records.

He was charged with making interstate threats to Pelosi and possession of an unregistered firearm.

In court documents, the FBI wrote that it found Meredith in a Washington hotel room after getting a tip about one of the texts. He had driven to Washington but arrived too late to attend the rally that preceded the riot, the court documents say.

Meredith had sent a text message on January 6 that said he was headed to Washington with "a s**t ton of ... armor piercing ammo," and another on January 7 saying that he was thinking of "putting a bullet in [Pelosi's] noggin on Live TV," according to court documents.

On January 7, he also texted about running Pelosi over, the court documents read. Meredith punctuated his messages with purple devil emojis, and used slurs for women to refer to Pelosi, authorities said.

At one point, after a recipient of the texts expressed concern, Meredith replied back, 'Lol, jus havin fun,'" the court documents read.

Meredith let the FBI search his hotel room, phone, truck and its trailer. Inside the trailer, agents found three guns -- a Glock 19, a 9mm pistol and an assault rifle -- and "approximately hundreds of rounds of ammunition," the court documents say.

Meredith was scheduled to appear in court on January 13.

CNN's attempts to reach Meredith's attorney for comment weren't immediately successful.

Robert Keith Packer

Packer, of Virginia, has been identified as a man who was inside the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase "Camp Auschwitz," according to three sources who spoke with CNN.

He was arrested on the morning of January 13 in Newport News, Virginia, on charges of entering the Capitol without permission and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to an arrest warrant.

Before his arrest, Packer had not responded to CNN's requests for comment.

An image of the sweatshirt, bearing the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II, evoked shock and disbelief on social media. The bottom of the shirt stated, "Work brings freedom," which is the rough translation of the phrase "Arbeit macht frei" that was on the camp's gates.

Brad Rukstales

The CEO of Chicago-area marketing technology firm Cogensia, Rukstales breached the US Capitol and was arrested, authorities said.

He has been 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," the Justice Department said.

Rukstales has been terminated from his job, according to Cogensia, whose acting CEO noted, "Rukstales' actions were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia."

Rukstales has apologized for what he called a "moment of extremely poor judgment," according to a statement posted on Twitter. "It was the single worst personal decision of my life."

"It was great to see a whole bunch of people together in the morning and hear the speeches, but it turned into chaos," Rukstales told CNN affiliate WBBM, admitting he was inside the Capitol.

"I had nothing to do with charging anybody or anything, or any of that," he said. "I was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Andrew Williams

The Florida firefighter was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to court documents, after a photo surfaced of him wearing a Trump 2020 hat and pointing at a placard for Pelosi inside the Capitol.

Williams, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sanford Fire Department, appeared in federal court January 12 and was released on a $25,000 signature bond, documents show.

Williams was placed on administrative leave without pay, according to a release from the fire department. Fire Chief Craig Radzak confirmed it was Williams in the photo and said Williams had been with the department as a firefighter-paramedic since October 2016.

Williams' attorney blamed Trump and Capitol police for the attack.

"The President and the Capitol police encouraged despicable behavior," Vince Citro told CNN affiliate WESH.

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