COURT DOCUMENTS: Thirteen charged in federal court following D.C. riots

FBI Director Christopher Wray commented that these charges are "just the beginning" of the ongoing efforts to hold the violent protestors accountable.
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WASHINGTON (KLKN) — According to court documents, thirteen individuals are facing federal charges following the riots in D.C.

“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.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray commented that these charges are “just the beginning” of the ongoing efforts to hold the violent protestors accountable.

“To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy,” said Wray. “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.”

In addition to the 13 federal charges, about 40 other rioters are to be charged in the Superior Court.

Authorities urge anyone with information about rioters and destructive acts to call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously at ReportIt.com.

Anyone with digital materials or tips about individuals who incited violence is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.

The individuals facing federal charges are outlined below. All charges listed are allegations:

  • Cleveland Meredith was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with making interstate threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Richard “Bigo” 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 area of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
    • Court Documents: Criminal Complaint, Statement of Facts
    • Barnett is seen in pictures on social media, sitting in the Speaker’s office with his feet propped on the desk. Later, holding a piece of Pelosi’s mail, he spoke with the media on tape. When asked how he obtained the letter, Barnett said, “I did not steal it. I bled on it because they were macing me and I couldn’t f—— see so I figured I am in her office. I got blood on her office. I put a quarter on her desk even though she ain’t f—— worth it. And I left her a note on her desk that says “Nancy, Bigo was here, you B—-.”
    • Screenshot 2021 01 08 154811

      Above is a screenshot of the Facebook post allegedly picturing Barnett. The post has since been taken down.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Court Documents: Criminal Complaint, Statement of Facts
    • Joshua Pruitt was initially taken into custody after he and a group of people refused to comply with the curfew order. Later that night, one investigator recognized Pruitt from a photo on the Washington Post, which showed him unlawfully entering the Capitol Building that day.
  • Matthew Council, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knoView Articlewingly 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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