USA law enforcement agents found bomb-making instructions inside the home of a member of the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group who was charged with participating in the January 6 siege of the Capitol, prosecutors said on Friday.
43-year-old Dominic Pezzola also known as "Spaz" was indicted in federal court on Friday on charges of conspiracy; civil disorder; unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
The Ellipse rally in front of the White House served as a starting point for hundreds of Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol on January 6, resulting in the death of 4 civilians and a police officer. Of the more than 170 people charged to date, the only other serious conspiracy charges in the inquiry have been brought against three members of a militia group known as the Oath Keepers, who have been accused of making advanced preparations for the January 6 rally in Washington that predate even the November 3 presidential election. He argued the remarks showed Pezzola "invested a significant personal effort to take over the Capitol and that he did so in co-ordination with others". Another organiser, Ethan Nordean, helped Mr Biggs lead the crowd, the court papers said, but has not been charged.
"Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys".
Both men from NY are the members of Proud Boys which defined itself as the "Western Chauvinists"-a group of men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world". They held rallies supporting President Donald Trump in the Pacific Northwest earlier this year. But the new charges against Pezzola and Pepe appear to be the first conspiracy cases involving alleged members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group of self-described "Western chauvinists".
Investigators have made a priority of exploring whether the attack was planned in advance by groups like the Proud Boys.
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Mr Pezzola, who works as a laborer laying tile, has been a focus of the sprawling investigation into the Capitol attack nearly from the moment it began.
The Justice Department said Pepe and Pezzola "took actions to evade and render ineffective the protective equipment deployed by Capitol Police in active riot-control measures, including actions to remove temporary metal barricades erected by the Capitol Police for the goal of controlling access to the Capitol Grounds, and the stealing and purloining of property belonging to Capitol Police". Jones, who has publicized discredited conspiracy theories, has hosted leaders of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two extremist groups that were prominent at the riot, on his popular radio and internet video shows, it said. According to court papers, someone in the mob called out, "Where they meeting at?" Social media activists had long pushed for some sort of confrontation on the date in question because that was the day the U.S. Congress does a formal, symbolic, and legally critical count of Electoral College votes.
Prosecutors said that Mr Pezzola later posted a video of himself online, smoking a cigar inside the Capitol. "I knew we could take the motherf*cker over [if we] just tried hard enough", Pezzola allegedly brags in the video. The computer files, court papers said, had titles like "Advanced Improvised Explosives", "Explosive Dusts" and "Ragnar's Big Book of Homemade Weapons". A lawyer for Pezzola, Mike Scibetta, said in an email that, to his knowledge, the thumb drive was given to Pezzola, was never opened by him, and contained a "survivalist" manual.
Neither Fancelli or Jones responded to the Wall Street Journal's requests for comment.
Pepe was a Metro Transit Authority employee.
Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a top donor to former President Donald Trump, gave about $300,000 to the "Save America" rally - more than half the cost of funding the event, the Journal said.