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El Paso man allegedly involved in breach of the U.S. Capitol last year charged by federal government

AP Capitol image.jpeg
The Associated Press
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The Associated Press
Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.

More than 880 people have been arrested for crimes related to the attack on the U. S. Capitol, including more than 70 Texans.

An El Paso man has been arrested on federal felony and misdemeanor charges for his role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year.

David Rene Arredondo, 47, is charged with “assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and interfering with law enforcement officers” during the riot where protesters and supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol. The charges are classified as felonies. Arredondo also faces additional misdemeanor charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a news release.

“According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Arredondo illegally entered the Capitol grounds. He grabbed the arm of a law enforcement officer trying to stop the mob of rioters from entering the Capitol doors,” the news release states. “By grabbing the officer’s arm and attempting to pull him away from the door, Arredondo sought to facilitate the entry of other rioters into the Capitol.”

Federal investigators traced Arredondo’s whereabouts on the day of the insurrection using Google, phone and email data, according to a sworn complaint from an agent assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and submitted to a federal magistrate judge. The information was used to identify a "maps display radius" of where Arredondo was around the time the U.S. Capitol was attacked.

Investigators also found Arredondo flew to Washington, D.C. with two family members on January 4 and stayed at the Capitol Hill Hotel. Surveillance video at the hotel showed Arredondo walking the grounds and leaving on Jan. 6, 2021.

An unnamed witness who knows Arredondo personally and met with federal agents on March 23, 2022 was able to identify Arredondo from hotel surveillance video. Weeks later, agents showed the same witness 11 video clips of the riot and the witness was able to identify Arredondo on nine clips, which included a one of the El Pasoan grabbing a policeman's arm, according to the affidavit.

The arrest document further states Arredondo and rioters pulled a police officer to the ground. Arredondo grabbed the police officer by the arm and pulled him from the Capitol doors, according to the affidavit.

Arredondo was inside the building for 40 minutes, the Justice Department added. He was arrested Wednesday in El Paso and is scheduled to appear before a judge in the Western District of Texas Thursday.

His arrest marks the latest in a string of investigations involving Texans who authorities allege were involved in the Capitol breach. As of Oct.11, 73 Texans have been charged with crimes for their involvement in the insurrection, according to the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. The Texas total is the second highest in the country after Florida, Houston Public Media reported.

Those charged include Jenny Cudd, a Midland woman who was sentenced in March to two months’ probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for entering and remaining inside a restricted building. Cudd is a right-wing political activist who owns a flower shop in Midland, Marfa Public Radio reported. She ran to be the city’s mayor in 2019 and has been a vocal supporter of President Trump.

Last month, Alpine resident Sean Watson was sentenced to a week in prison and two years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to “parading, demonstrating, or picketing” inside the U.S. Capitol during the attack, Marfa Public Radio reported.

Since the breach, more than 880 people have been arrested for crimes related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice said in its statement. They include more than 270 individuals charged with assault or impeding law enforcement.

KTEP's Aaron Montes contributed reporting to this story.

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Got a tip? Email Julián Aguilar at jaguilar@kera.org.You can follow Julián on Twitter @nachoaguilar