“Unprecedented” in FBI history: What we know about the Capitol riot arrests
America watched as hordes of rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — crushing through windows, pressing up stairways, and sending both lawmakers and law enforcement running for their lives. The flood of protesters who streamed into the Capitol that day left federal authorities with an equally immense task: finding and charging those responsible.
Last month, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said, “The scope and scale of this investigation in these cases are really unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history.”
So far, federal prosecutors say they’ve charged at least 219 people for their alleged roles in the riot and opened over 400 investigations into possible criminals.
As law enforcement continues to round up alleged attackers, here’s what CBS News has learned about the people who were arrested:
How many have been charged?
A DOJ spokesperson told CBS News that as of Tuesday evening, federal authorities had charged at least 219 people. CBS News has reviewed the charging documents of 203 federal defendants, 51 of whom have been indicted, whose cases have been made public in federal court.
The FBI told CBS News on Thursday that 40 people have been arrested for assault on law enforcement officers. The crime carries penalties ranging from one to 20 years, depending on the circumstances of the assault.
While many of the alleged rioters were initially charged with minor crimes such as misdemeanor trespassing, prosecutors have continued to add serious felony charges to those cases as evidence became available. Sherwin said that “almost all” of the cases federal prosecutors have charged involved “significant federal felonies” with potential sentences ranging from five to 20 years.
Federal prosecutors charged at least 83 people with “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” a crime that carries a possible sentence of no more than six months in prison, or up to five years if paired with a weapons violation.
At least seven people were charged with theft of government property, including Aaron Mostofsky, who was photographed with a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield and bulletproof vest and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
How many have served in the military?
At least 20 of those arrested are veterans and three are currently enlisted in the military — two in the Army Reserve and one in the National Guard — according to military service records and court documents obtained by CBS News.
Of those 20, eight have served in the U.S. Marines, seven served in the Army, two served in the Navy and one served in the Air Force.
The Army Reserve shared the following statement with CBS News: “The U.S. Army Reserve takes all allegations of Soldier or Army civilian involvement in extremist groups seriously and will address this issue in accordance with Army regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure due process. Extremist ideologies and activities directly oppose our values and beliefs and those who subscribe to extremism have no place in our ranks.”
Where did they come from?
The alleged rioters come from at least 41 states outside of Washington, D.C. Among those arrested whose home states were known, the most were from Texas, with 23 Texans charged so far. New York and Florida each had 15 residents arrested. Pennsylvania had 13, California had 11 and New Jersey and Virginia each had nine arrested.
How many have worked in law enforcement?
At least four people worked as law enforcement officers at the time they allegedly took part in the riot, and all have since left their jobs. Houston police officer Tam Dinh Pham and Monmouth County correctional police officer Marissa Suarez both resigned after they were arrested, and two Virginia police officers were fired after prosecutors charged them for their alleged conduct at the Capitol. Additionally, a firefighter from Florida was also arrested for his participation in the riot.
How many have extremist affiliations?
Authorities have connected at least 25 alleged rioters to extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Texas Freedom Force and the conspiracy group QAnon.
How many were women?
While those arrested in the January 6 mob were mostly men, at least 25 women have been arrested for their alleged participation.
How old were those arrested?
Among the 65 defendants whose ages are known, the average age was 41. The youngest-known alleged rioter is 18-year-old Bruno Joseph Cua, who prosecutors accused of assaulting an officer after he posted online, “President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!”
The oldest was 70-year-old Lonnie Coffman, an Alabama man who authorities say brought a car full of weapons and explosives to Washington, D.C.
How many were released?
At least 101 people have been sent home after posting bail or agreeing to supervised release.
How much evidence exists?
Federal law enforcement has issued more than 500 grand jury subpoenas and search warrants, and the FBI has fielded more than 200,000 digital media tips from people hoping to share evidence of the riot.
Recent updates on notable cases
An alleged Oath Keepers leader who prosecutors say helped organize extremists in the Capitol attack has held a top-secret security clearance for decades, his attorney said Monday.
Prosecutors arrested a woman suspected to be the “bullhorn lady,” who was seen instructing rioters where to go in the Capitol.
On January 29, federal prosecutors indicted two New York members of the Proud Boys after they say the men conspired to impede law enforcement.
What happens next?
Sherwin said in January that the swift rate of arrests will soon begin to plateau as prosecutors move away from charging the easily identifiable “internet stars” who appeared in photos and on social media and begin to build more complicated conspiracy cases related to militia groups’ coordination during the attack.
Paulina Smolinski contributed to this report.
Source: Read Full Article