Thirteen charged in federal court following riot at US Capitol, investigation ongoing

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Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—As of Friday, 13 people have been charged in federal court in connection with the violent mob that overran the United States Capitol on Wednesday.

US Capitol has seen violence in its 220- year history, but not like this

While officials are still making arrests, 13 people have been charged with federal crimes and 40 have charged in Superior Court with offenses such as curfew violations, and fire-arms related crimes.

Horned, shirtless man at the Capitol demonstration identified

“The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin. “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. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to 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.”

The 13 defendants that were charges in federal court are:

  1. Cleveland Meredith was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with making interstate threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  2. Richard Barnett, of Arkansas, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Barnett allegedly entered a restricted are of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
  3. Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. It is alleged that Coffman’s vehicle contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. It is further alleged he was in possession of two firearms. Coffman was arrested and is currently being held. His detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021.
  4. Mark Leffingwell, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Leffingwell is currently being held and has a detention hearing in district court today.
  5. Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. Specifically 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.
  6. Joshua Pruitt, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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.
  7. Matthew Council, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Council allegedly unlawfully entered the Capitol building, and when stopped by law enforcement, he pushed the officer.
  8. Cindy Fitchett, of Virginia, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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.  
  9. Michael Curzio, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Douglas Sweet, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Bradley Ruskelas, of Illinois, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Terry Brown, of Pennsylvania, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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. Thomas Gallagher was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, 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 cases are being prosecuted by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and are being investigated jointly by the FBI; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; United States Marshals Service; U.S. Capitol Police Department; and the Metropolitan Police Department.

“ATF is committed to the rule of law and the protection of all citizens’ Constitutional rights,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Deputy Director Regina Lombardo. “We continue to support our law enforcement partners to ensure those who violated the law during the events at the Capitol this week are brought to justice. ATF has dedicated all appropriate resources to complete these investigations as soon as possible.”

“Today’s charges are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible for the criminal acts of violence and destruction that unfolded during the U.S. Capitol building breach on January 6th,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy. The FBI, along with our local, state and federal partners, is committed to ensuring that justice is served. 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.”

“Deputy U.S. Marshals responded to support U.S. Capitol Police after the incursion into the Capitol building. Our deputies helped to clear the building and escorted members of Congress back to the main chamber for official business,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington. “US Marshals will now bring to bear our fugitive investigations expertise to ensure that individuals charged in federal warrants are brought to face justice. Respect for the rule of law is a foundational principle for our democracy and the freedoms that it provides.  Unlawful acts will not go unpunished.”

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest.

Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously here.

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos here.

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