What We Know About The "unprecedented" Capitol Riot Arrests

In the seven months since a mob of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol more than 570 people had been arrested in connection with the siege, according to the Department of Justice.

The flood of people who streamed onto Capitol grounds that day left federal authorities with an immense task: finding and charging those responsible. Despite the pace of arrests, prosecutors said in July they still have yet to identify hundreds of people accused of committing violent acts on Capitol grounds, including assaulting law enforcement officers.

Prosecutors have called the case "unprecedented" in scale, and the government has said in court that the Capitol attack "is likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice." 

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Since January 6, CBS News has tracked every case. After seven months, here's what CBS News has learned about the investigation:

More than 570 defendants have been arrested and more than 30 have pleaded guilty

Of the more than 570 defendants arrested, more than 200 defendants were also indicted by grand juries.

So far, at least 36 defendants have pleaded guilty. At least 28 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors only, while eight have pleaded guilty to felonies.

Six defendants have been sentenced: One defendant was sentenced to eight months in prison for a felony, and five others have been sentenced for misdemeanor charges only. Two of those defendants were sentenced for time already served in prison, while two others were sentenced to home confinement. Another, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, was sentenced to three years probation and no jail time.

For others, plea negotiations have been complicated by the vast amounts of evidence involved in the investigation.

Charges include assaults on officers, destruction of government property and conspiracy

The Justice Department said over 170 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, including more than 50 who were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.

In total, CBS News has found that more than 150 officers were injured in the attack, according to sources on Capitol Hill and the Capitol Police union, as well as testimony from Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee.

Approximately six people have been arrested on charges related to assaulting a member of the media or destroying their equipment on January 6.

Nearly 235 defendants were charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding or attempting to do so, and approximately 40 defendants have been charged with conspiracy, a charge that alleges defendants coordinated with others to commit an offense. They include four alleged Three Percenters, nearly 20 Oath Keepers who were indicted together in a single conspiracy case and 15 members or affiliates of the Proud Boys, who were charged in four separate conspiracy cases.

The Justice Department also said that almost 495 defendants were charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. More than 55 were charged with entering the Capitol with a dangerous or deadly weapon, while over 35 were charged with destruction of government property and almost 30 were charged with theft of government property, the Department of Justice said.

During proceedings for at least three of the more than 35 defendants charged with the destruction of government property, the government said their crimes amounted to "terrorism" — an allegation that is not itself a charge but could influence prison sentences if they are found guilty.

Dozens of defendants have served in the military

At least 62 of those arrested are current or former military members. Of those, one is an active duty service member, four are current part-time troops in the Army Reserve or National Guard and 57 previously served in the military, according to attorney statements, military service records and court documents obtained by CBS News.

At least 26 have served in the U.S. Marines, 24 have served in the Army, three served in the Navy and two served in the Air Force. One defendant, Jeffrey McKellop, was a communications sergeant with the Army Special Forces, a group known colloquially as the Green Berets.

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."

> 2 charged after officer died after Capitol ri... 02:00

At least 15 worked as law enforcement officers

At least 15 of those arrested were either former police officers or were employed as law enforcement officers at the time of the riot, according to court documents and employment records. Prosecutors also charged at least one current firefighter and one retired firefighter.

Of the eight law enforcement officers employed at the time of the riot, at least seven have since lost their jobs. 

Karol J. Chwiesiuk, a Chicago police officer who was arrested June 11 and accused of entering the Capitol building on January 6, was not fired but has been "relieved of his police powers," a department spokesperson said. 

Kevin Tuck, a police officer with Windermere Police Department in Florida, resigned after the FBI arrested him at his police department. The Board of Supervisors in North Cornwall Township, Pennsylvania, voted June 1 to fire Joseph Fischer, a police officer who had been charged with, among other crimes, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. 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.

One off-duty Drug Enforcement Agency agent was accused of carrying his government-issued weapon to the Capitol riot. Prosecutors say he posed for pictures while flashing his DEA badge and climbed onto the Peace Monument to film himself as he delivered a "monologue." He is no longer employed at the agency.

Prosecutors have charged at least one former police chief. Alan Hostetter was chief of the La Habra Police Department in California for eight months in 2010, according to the department, and prosecutors have charged him with conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. Prosecutors have also charged former officers with the New York Police Department: Thomas Webster, who is accused of lunging at a Capitol police officer with a flagpole, and Sara Carpenter, whose arrest, an NYPD spokesperson said, was the culmination of the NYPD's close work with the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce.

Nicholes Lentz — who the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said is a former officer in the North Miami Beach and Fort Pierce police departments — was charged after posting videos from inside the Capitol. In a video, he said, "We're not here to hurt any cops of course. I love my boys in blue, but this is overwhelming for them."

Authorities are still looking for hundreds of suspects

The Justice Department said the FBI was still seeking the public's help to identify more than 300 people believed to have committed violent acts on the Capitol grounds, including over 200 who assaulted police officers.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in March that citizens from around the country had sent the FBI more than 270,000 digital media tips. 

The government said it has issued a combined total of over 900 search warrants and the investigation has included more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies. The government has also gathered approximately 1,600 electronic devices, the results of hundreds of searches of electronic communication providers, over 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews and other investigative steps, authorities said in a filing.

Defendants have come from at least 46 states

The alleged rioters come from at least 46 states outside of Washington, D.C. Among those charged whose home states were known, the most were from Florida, with at least 58 Floridians charged so far. Authorities charged at least 53 people from Texas, at least 44 from Pennsylvania and at least 38 from New York.

Authorities have linked more than 80 defendants to extremist groups

Authorities have connected at least 83 alleged rioters to extremist groups and ideologies, including the Proud BoysOath KeepersThree Percenters, Texas Freedom Force and the conspiracy ideology QAnon.

More than 70 women have been arrested

While those arrested in the January 6 mob were mostly men, at least 72 women have also been arrested for their alleged participation.

Defendants' ages span six decades

Among the 185 defendants whose ages are known, the average age is 41. The youngest-known alleged rioter is 18-year-old Bruno Joseph Cua, whom prosecutors accused of assaulting an officer after he posted online, "President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!" 

The oldest is Gary Wickersham, who, according to his attorney, is an 80-year-old Army veteran. Authorities said Wickersham walked through the Capitol during the siege and later told authorities he believed he was authorized to enter because he pays his taxes.

> Senate report details failures around Capitol... 02:09

More CBS News reporting on the January 6 criminal inquiry

A small number of Capitol riot defendants have been accused of carrying firearms. But guns weren't the only threat. According to court documents reviewed by CBS News, around 40 defendants were accused of wielding "deadly or dangerous" weapons that weren't firearms, including Tasers, tomahawk axes, crowbars, flagpoles, a knife, an ice axe, a firecracker, a stun gun, baseball bats, fire extinguishers, a wooden club and chemical spray.

Dozens of Capitol riot suspects were reported to authorities by their own close personal contacts. According to court documents, the FBI arrested many based on tips from family members, work colleagues, childhood friends and ex-lovers who called authorities after watching their acquaintances participate in the siege on TV or, in some cases, on the rioters' own social media accounts. 

Attorneys for a handful of accused rioters have referenced Mr. Trump in efforts to explain their clients' actions, according to statements and documents reviewed by CBS News.

Read how prosecutors said a group of five Floridians battled with police for hours during the Capitol riot. In a criminal indictment, prosecutors said members of the group wielded flagpoles, chemical spray, plastic handcuffs and tactical gloves with molded plastic knuckles.

Paulina Smolinski contributed to this report.

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/capitol-riot-arrests-2021-05-13/

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