What we know about the “unprecedented” Capitol riot arrests


America watched as hordes of rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — crushing through windows, pressing up stairways, and sending lawmakers and law enforcement running for their lives. The flood of protesters who streamed into the Capitol that day left federal authorities with an equally immense task: finding and charging those responsible.

Federal prosecutors have now charged at least 312 people in connection with the events of January 6, according to court documents, and the government said in a court filing March 12 that around 100 more are still expected to be charged. “The Capitol Attack is likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” the filing read.

Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin said last month, “The investigation into those responsible is moving at a speed and scale that’s unprecedented, and rightly so. Those responsible must be held to account, and they will be.”

As law enforcement continues to round up alleged attackers, here’s what CBS News has learned about the people who were arrested:

How many have been charged?

At least 312 defendants have been charged in federal court as of Wednesday, according to charging documents reviewed by CBS News. Of those, at least 110 were also indicted by grand juries.

How many leads are being followed?

FBI Director Christopher Wray said earlier this month that citizens from around the country had sent the FBI more than 270,000 digital media tips. Wray said, “With their help, we’ve identified hundreds of suspects and opened hundreds of investigations in all but one of our 56 field offices.”

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 Friday.

Where did they come from?

The alleged rioters come from at least 42 states outside of Washington, D.C. Among those arrested whose home states were known, the most were from Texas, with 30 Texans charged so far. New York had 25 residents arrested while Florida and Pennsylvania each had 24.

How many have extremist affiliations?

Authorities have connected at least 48 alleged rioters to extremist groups, including the Proud BoysOath KeepersThree Percenters, Texas Freedom Force and the conspiracy ideology QAnon. 

How many have served in the military?

At least 37 of those arrested are current or former military members. Of those, three are currently enlisted in the military — two in the Army Reserve and one in the National Guard — according to military service records and court documents obtained by CBS News.

Of the former military members, at least 18 have served in the U.S. Marines, 11 served in the Army, two served in the Navy and two served in the Air Force.

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.”

How many worked in law enforcement?

At least five of those arrested were employed as law enforcement officers at the time of the riot, and at least three of those arrested had previously worked as police officers. Prosecutors also charged one current firefighter and one retired firefighter. 

Of the five police officers, four have since lost their jobs. An officer in North Cornwall Township, Pennsylvania was suspended without pay after he was 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.

Laura Steele, a member of the Oath Keepers militia indicted for conspiracy, worked for the High Point Police Department in North Carolina for 12 years before she was terminated for conduct toward superior personnel, absence from duty, and violating a communications policy, a spokesperson for High Point Police said. Her husband, Kenneth Steele — who was not alleged to be at the Capitol riot — retired on January 1 as assistant police chief. Thomas Webster, who prosecutors said is a former New York Police Department officer, was charged after he allegedly lunged at a Capitol Police officer with a metal flagpole during the Capitol riot.

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.”

Additionally, firefighter and paramedic Andrew Williams was arrested for his participation in the riot, and retired firefighter Robert Sanford was arrested and accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three police officers in the head.

Common charges

The government said in a filing Friday that while most cases brought so far have been against individuals, the government is investigating conspiratorial activity that occurred before and during the attack. So far, more than 20 have been charged with conspiracy, a charge that alleges they coordinated with others to commit an offense.

More than 25 have been charged under a destruction of government property statute. During proceedings for three of those defendants, the government said their crimes amounted to “terrorism” — an allegation that is not itself a charge but could influence prison sentences if the men are found guilty.

The FBI told CBS News in February that 40 people at that time had been arrested for assault on law enforcement officers. The crime carries penalties ranging from one to 20 years, depending on the circumstances of the assault. Federal prosecutors have also charged at least 195 alleged rioters with “restricted building or grounds” charges.

2 charged after officer died after Capitol ri…


How many were women?

While those arrested in the January 6 mob were mostly men, at least 39 women have also been arrested for their alleged participation.

How old were those arrested?

Among the 97 defendants whose ages are known, the average age was 42. The youngest-known alleged rioter is 18-year-old Bruno Joseph Cua, who prosecutors accused of assaulting an officer after he posted online, “President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!” 

The oldest rioters were two 70-year-old men: Bennie Parker, an alleged Oath Keeper, and Lonnie Coffman, an Alabama man who authorities say brought a car full of weapons and explosives to Washington, D.C. 

How many have been released?

At least 148 people have been approved to go home after posting bail or agreeing to supervised release.

Recent updates on notable cases

Two were arrested for allegedly assaulting Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after responding to the riots January 6. The West Virginia men are accused of spraying police officers with a chemical spray.

Authorities arrested a suspect accused of assaulting D.C. Metropolitan police officer Mike Fanone, who was allegedly beaten and tased by a mob of rioters during the assault on the U.S. Capitol.  The government said Thomas Sibick ripped Fanone’s badge and radio off his uniform during the assault on the west front steps, and subsequently buried the badge in his back yard.

A Florida Oath Keeper is facing conspiracy and other charges. Kenneth Harrelson previously served in the U.S. Army and was seen with the tactical-style “stack” of rioters who marched up the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

A number of Capitol rioters were turned in by friends, family members, colleagues and ex-lovers.

Paulina Smolinski contributed to this report.

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