UPDATE: At Least 28 Texans Face Charges In The Wake Of The U.S. Capitol Siege
This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn new information. Details are gathered from federal court documents and research from the George Washington University Program on Extremism.
Updated March 15, 12:31 p.m. CT
Two more Texans have been arrested after allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. At least 28 Texans are now facing charges.
Jeffrey Witcher and Richard Barnard, both U.S. Marine veterans, allegedly entered the Capitol building alongside pro-Trump extremists, according to court documents. Once inside, court documents allege the two men took several photos and videos on their phones.
Federal agents say Witcher had attempted to delete the footage he recorded while inside the building, but the FBI was able to recover the deleted evidence by clicking on the “recently deleted” folder in his phone.
In one of the videos, Witcher appears to be walking towards a line of police officers, while chanting, "I am in the White House! We crashed this. Our house! We did it!", accordint to court documents.
According to the FBI, Witcher told agents that he became emotional during the incident and had forgotten that he was actually inside of the Capitol building, and not the White House.
Richard Barnard appears alongside Witcher in several photos and videos taken inside the Capitol building, according to court documents. In an interview with FBI agents, Barnard said that he helped shield police from a crowd of rioters and that he stayed inside of the building for 15-20 minutes, the FBI said.
The two men are now facing federal charges, including unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. Jeffrey Witcher is also being charged with obstruction of an official proceeding.
Updated Feb. 8, 2:04 p.m. CT
Two Texas realtors were arrested after allegedly entering the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 attack. At least 23 Texans are now facing charges.
Realtors Katherine Schwab and Jason Hyland both allegedly traveled to Washington, D.C. with Frisco realtor Jennifer Ryan and two other unidentified people, according to court documents. The group flew from Denton to D.C. via a private plane to attend Trump's Jan. 6 rally, court records show.
Both Hyland and Schwab told investigators that after seeing that the Capitol had been breached, the group decided to see what was happening firsthand, according to a sworn affidavit from federal law enforcement.
Court records allege that Ryan posted a 21-minute livestream on Facebook that showed the group walking towards the Capitol. Both Hyland and Schwab appear in the video, according to court documents.
Once at the Capitol, the affidavit said Hyland asked a police officer if he could go inside the building, with the officer allegedly responding, "everyone else is." Hyland told investigators that he went inside the building along with Ryan and Schwab, and stayed inside for a short amount of time. After hearing what sounded like a flash bang, Hyland reportedly left the building.
Surveillance footage from inside the Capitol building shows what appears to be both Schwab and Hyland entering the building through the Rotunda door.
When asked on Facebook if she was able to get pictures from within the building, Scwab confirmed that she was inside, according to the affidavit.
"no because they closed the door behind us and had their guns drawn at a few...interesting though, the national guard was in there and didn't move an inch. They sat back. They didn't fight against us at all...because there was no need to. After the girl was shot and killed that's when we raised hell," she wrote, according to court records.
The FBI said it identified both Hyland and Schwab through Ryan's social media posts and through surveillance footage from inside the Capitol building. They are now being charged with disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
Updated Jan. 28, 9:02 a.m. CT
Three more Texans have been charged in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. At least 19 Texans are now facing charges.
Garland Resident Daniel Phipps was arrested Tuesday after law enforcement said they discovered evidence on social media that he took part in the Capitol insurrection. In several posts attached to a federal affidavit, someone purported to be Phipps can be seen in what appears to be the inside of the Capitol building.
“I went to DC. I helped take the Hill," he said in one Facebook post, according to court documents.
Phipps is now being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
Chance Uptmore, and his father James Uptmore, both allegedly entered the Capitol building during the insurrection. Like many others who were present during the attack, Chance Uptmore was active on social media, according to the FBI.
One Facebook comment attached to a sworn affidavit allegedly written by the son indicated that he was inside the Capitol, and described what it was like inside the building.
"When a painting was grabbed off the wall we helped the cops recover it. The cops were saying stuff like ‘we stand with you' ‘thanks for being here' ‘you made your point now leave calmly' I have it all on tape," he said.
According to court documents, the FBI identified the younger Uptmore using his social media posts and still images found on several news outlets, including British publication the Telegraph.
After the FBI executed a federal search warrant on the Uptmore residence, investigators say both father and son confessed to being at the Capitol during the attack.
According to court documents, James Uptmore had followed his son into the building after advising him not to enter.
Both father and son are now being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
Updated Jan. 23, 1:23 p.m. CT
Three more Texans have been charged in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, including a Dallas-area man accused of making online threats against U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Garrett Miller appeared before a federal judge Friday after the FBI discovered social media posts that show the man storming the entrance to the Capitol building and at least one video inside the Capitol rotunda waving pro-Trump and American flags with the caption, “From inside congress,” according to a sworn affidavit.
Social media posts attached to the affidavit appear to show Miller in the week leading up to the pro-Trump riot making plans to travel to the Capitol with "a grappling hook and rope and a level 3 vest. Helmets mouth guard and bump cap," adding that the last time he attended a pro-Trump rally in D.C. he "had a lot of guns.”
Responding to one Twitter user who claimed the rioters were “paid infiltrators,” Miller tweeted, “Nah we stormed it,” according to the affidavit.
Another screenshot purportedly from Miller’s Twitter account simply reads, “Assassinate @AOC” — the Twitter handle of Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Under one Facebook photo from inside the Capitol, someone commented, "bro you got in?! Nice!," to which Miller replied, "just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol," according to the affidavit.
He has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; obstructing or impeding any official proceeding; and certain acts during civil disorder.
Another north Texas man, Nolan Cooke, who according to court records lives near the Oklahoma border about an hour north of Dallas, was arrested after agents say he posted an approximately 28-second GoPro video on TikTok from the Capitol. The video, which was posted on Jan. 13, appeared to show a crowd shoving its way past what looked like U.S. Capitol police, according to court records.
In an affidavit, one agent said they observed long brown hair that matched Nolan's, and the sleeve of a denim jacket or shirt that matched photos on his Instagram account. The FBI also discovered a social media photo of Cooke and a woman believed to be his girlfriend, captioned, "I wouldn't want anyone other than you with me to take on the revolution," according to court records.
The photo, which is attached to the affidavit, also appears to show Cooke wearing a "Trump 2020" hat.
When confronted by the FBI on Jan. 20, Cooke admitted that he and his girlfriend were driven to the Capitol by a family member, and were at the front of the line pushing against police at the building, according to the agent's sworn affidavit. The court document also alleged that Cooke brought one or more guns on the trip but left them in the vehicle, and that he "came to the Capitol because he wanted to be heard. He denied entering the building.
Cooke has been charged with entering or remaining on restricted buildings or grounds; disorderly or disruptive conduct in or near restricted buildings or grounds; unlawful activities on Capitol grounds; and acts during civil disorder.
"The president asked people to come and show their support I feel like it's the least that we can do, it's kind of why I came from central Texas all the way to DC," he told KWTX in Waco.
In the interview, Grider said he was near Ashli Babbitt when she was shot and killed outside the "Speaker's Lobby" near the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“(Rioters) were shocked as everyone else was when the people on the other side of the door, from 20 feet away, shot her in the chest,” he said. “At that point we were all panicked, we couldn't leave because there were thousands of people behind us pushing us forward.”
FBI agents later corroborated the details of the interview using social media photos and video, according to a sworn affidavit from one of the agents. Screenshots attached to the affidavit appear to show Grider with a yellow “Don't Tread on Me” flag tied around his neck like a backwards cape, and a red “Make America Great Again” cap.
In one video, the agent said he can be seen handing a helmet to one fellow rioter, who used it to smash glass doors inside the Capitol. Grider then tried to climb through the doors, according to the affidavit. The agent also said he could be seen trying to push through the doors to the House chamber.
Grider was charged with damage to government property, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
There are now at least 16 Texans who have been charged in the aftermath of the violent pro-Trump riot.
Updated 1:33 p.m. CT Wednesday
Three more Texas residents have been charged in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, according to court records — marking at least 13 Texans in total.
According to a sworn affidavit, Texan and alt-right personality Nick DeCarlo entered the U.S. Capitol building alongside Nick Ochs, leader of the Hawaiian branch of the Proud Boys.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, DeCarlo said he and Ochs were at the Capitol working as journalists for MT Media — or, "Murder the Media" — a right-wing California-based company.
However, in a nearly hour-long interview with a fellow "Murder the Media" member, DeCarlo told a different story.
"Me and Nick Ochs went there specifically to stop the steal," he said, referring to the unfounded election fraud claims pushed by President Trump. “You’re welcome America,” he later added.
The FBI used images posted on social media by the two men to identify and apprehend them shortly after the insurrection, according to court documents.
Longview resident Ryan Nichols and Carthage resident Alex Harkrider also both allegedly participated in the Capitol insurrection, according to court documents. Both Nichols and Harkrider made several posts on social media during the attack, uploading images featuring the men on Capitol grounds and inside the building itself.
In a video obtained by the FBI, Nichols allegedly sprays what the FBI called pepper spray towards a door guarded by police. In another video obtained by the FBI, Nichols was said to proclaim: "This is the second revolution right here folks!"
The FBI said it used photographic evidence uploaded by the men themselves to identify and charge them for their alleged participation.
Updated 3:04 p.m. CT Tuesday
A Houston police officer and a man from San Antonio are two of the latest to be charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection, marking at least 10 Texans alleged to be involved.
Eighteen-year HPD veteran and Richmond resident Tam Dinh Pham and San Antonio resident Matthew Carl Mazzocco, 37, were charged Tuesday with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Pham was accused of unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol Building along with throngs of other pro-Trump extremists, marching from the morning’s Donald Trump rally to the Capitol, where he allegedly climbed over knocked-down fences, passed through the barriers and entered the Capitol rotunda.
Images and video screenshots attached to the affidavit appear to show Pham inside carrying a Trump flag.
Matthew Carl Mazzocco, 37, of San Antonio was arrested Sunday in San Antonio. Details of his charges were not immediately available Tuesday.
Updated 11:31 a.m. CT Tuesday
Four more Texans have been charged in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, bringing the total to at least eight across the state.
Daniel Adams; Guy Reffitt, 48; Jenna Ryan, 50; and Troy Smocks, 58, have all been charged since Friday, according to federal court documents.
East Texas resident Adams was arrested in the Houston area after allegedly confronting authorities on Capitol ground with his cousin, Cody Connell, from Louisiana. Video footage recorded by both men showed Adams and Connell in what appears to be a physical altercation with officers on the steps of the Capitol, according to court documents.
Both men allegedly used social media to share their experience at the Capitol, with several posts making their way to the FBI, who said they then used the images to identify the two men.
Reffitt, of Wylie, was seen “at or past the police line protecting” the Capitol building, wearing black body armor, according to court documents. Days later, court documents say Reffitt realized the FBI was watching him, and he became increasingly suspicious of his own family. His family told the FBI that he became more hostile towards them as time went on, going as far as to seemingly threating his own children, according to the criminal complaint.
"If you turn me in, you're a traitor and you know what happens to traitors... traitors get shot," Reffitt allegedly told his two children.
He was arrested soon after, while the FBI executed a search warrant at his home.
Ryan, a Realtor from Frisco, flew to D.C. with others aboard a small private plane, according to court documents. Images posted onto Ryan’s social media pages appeared to show her at the Capitol building. During a 21-minute livestream on Facebook, Ryan is allegedly shown entering the Capitol building, saying "y'all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor," according to court documents.
Days after the insurrection, Ryan defended her alleged participation on several news outlets. After she was arrested by the FBI, she told CBS 11 in Dallas-Fort Worth that she believed President Trump should pardon all who were involved in the riot.
“He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do," she said.
Smocks, from Dallas, flew from Texas to D.C. on Jan. 5, according to court documents. He was allegedly an avid user of the now-deactivated social media app Parler, and prosecutors said he used his account on Jan. 6 to post: “many of us will return on January 19th.” He added that those who won’t join on the 19th should “take a few vacation days” during that time, according to court documents.
On Jan. 7, Smocks allegedly posted: “We took the Capital. They have it back now, only because We left. It wasn't the building that We wanted. . . it was them!"
Original story is below:
At least four Texans — including one from the Houston area — are among those being prosecuted for their involvement in the storm on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Joshua Lollar, Larry Brock, Jenny Cudd, and Eliel Rosa are facing federal charges for alleged violent entry into the Capitol, according to federal court documents.
Lollar, from Spring, was accused of storming the Capitol and clashing with police officers after attending the rally by President Donald Trump last week.
The FBI reviewed photos and videos on Lollar's Facebook account, which appeared to show him busting into the building and in a crowd that was trying to push through a line of police officers, according to court documents.
Grapevine resident and Air Force combat veteran Larry Brock was seen inside the capitol building wearing green body armor and carrying zip-tie handcuffs, according to court documents.
After several images of someone appearing to be Brock began to surface online, family members and friends confirmed his identity to the FBI. Brock told the New Yorker that he intended to be peaceful, and wore his body armor because he “didn't want to get stabbed or hurt.” As for the zip-tie handcuffs, Brock said he found them on the ground and had intended to “give them to an officer.”
Jenny Cudd, a former Midland mayoral candidate, and Eliel Rosa, a Midland resident, both entered the Capitol building during the riot, according to court documents.
Once inside, Cudd allegedly helped break down Nancy Pelosi's office door, a detail Cudd confirmed via a livestream on Facebook. During the livestream, Cudd expressed the pride she felt as she participated in the “revolution.”
Security camera footage, photos, and Cudd's own Facebook livestreams allowed the FBI to identify both Cudd and Rosa. Upon questioning, the FBI said Rosa admitted that he and Cudd had entered the U.S. Capitol.
The FBI is also aware of several Houstonians who participated in the Capitol insurrection, HPD Chief Art Acevedo said. That may include a former Houston police officer the chief said was under federal investigation for his alleged involvement.
The 18-year HPD veteran, Tam Dinh Pham, entered the Capitol building to take photos, Acevedo said. After news broke of his alleged involvement in the riot, he was relieved of duty on Wednesday.