A Proud Boys chapter founder, former West Virginia state representative, and the man who stole Nancy Pelosi’s mail were among the individuals arrested so far.
Over this past weekend federal and local authorities continuously made arrests related to the riot that occurred at the Capitol building last Wednesday. According to the Associated Press around 90 people are facing charges currently that range from misdemeanor curfew violations, to felonies related to assaulting police officers, making death threats, and damaging federal property. Arrests are far from over as well, and federal agents have opened up multiple online inquiries into the hundreds of thousands of images that have been spreading online from the riots.
Some of the most notable individuals who have been charged include Jake Angeli from Arizona, who’s been nicknamed “QAnon Shaman” online based on his barbarian outfit that he wore as he was pictured yielding a spear all around the Capitol building. Adam Christian Johnson from Florida was also arrested; he was the individual pictured smiling and waving while carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern around the building like a trophy.
According to sources other recognizable arrests include “Richard Barnett, who was photographed with his feet up in Pelosi’s office; Eric Gavelek Munchel, who was seen hopping over Capitol seats in military-style garb, holding a bunch of zip ties; and Derrick Evans, a Republican elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in November, who has since resigned after being hit with two federal charges.”
“The insurrectionist mob included members of the neo-fascist group Proud Boys, whom Trump urged to ‘stand back and stand by’ when asked to condemn them by a moderator during a presidential debate in September.”
Johnson (pictured right), the individual arrested for carrying around Pelosi’s lectern, was arrested and booked into a Pinellas County, Florida jail this past weekend on a first degree felony charge in relation to storming and ransacking the Capitol. According to the Department of Justice Johnson was charged with one count of “knowingly entering or remaining in a 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 one of the most circulated faces in relation to the riot due to the smugness he exuded in the photo waving and smiling while looking directly at the camera holding the lectern. Many quickly made the comparison to when Donald Trump aggressively tweeted “when the looting starts the shooting starts” in relation to the Black Lives Matter protests this past summer, however, Johnson was able to walk out of the Capitol and go home unharmed.
Other notable arrests made include “Doug Jensen, who was seen on video chasing a police officer, as was Nicholas Ochs, founder of the Proud Boys chapter in Hawaii, and Cleveland Grover Meredith, Jr., who was accused of making threats against Pelosi and possessing unregistered firearms.” Beyond Johnson, Jake Angeli, the “QAnon Shaman” was the other face that was heavily circulated online following the riots, which made it fairly easy for federal agents to find and arrest him.
“Chansley was identified as the man dressed in horns, a bearskin headdress, and red, white and blue face paint. This individual carried a spear, 6 feet in length, with an American flag tied just below the blade.”
According to a statement directly released from the Department of Justice “Jacob Anthony Chansley, a.k.a. Jake Angeli, of Arizona, 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. Chansley was taken into custody on Sunday.”
Angeli’s unique costume and consistent presence at pro-Trump rallies in his hometown made it easy for federal agents to identify and arrest him. In fact, many of the individuals have been easy to find due to the fact that the entire mob was essentially maskless throughout the entire ordeal, which is not surprising considering the response that Trump supporters have given within the past year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Federal authorities have arrested and charged over a dozen people on multiple counts of breaking federal crimes and illegally entering and destroying government property. Those charges also include “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 property or records.” Ironically, Trump recently passed an executive order that would make all of these crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The next few months are going to be filled with a multitude of federal investigations into all of the individuals involved, as many who were close to the rioters claim that their loved ones have been planning this riot since the election, and it was actually planned to be much more violent than it was, if you can believe that.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.