Capitol Rioter Who Smoked Pot in Senator’s Office Arrested
One of the supporters of President Donald Trump who entered theU.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been arrested and charged with violent entry and interfering with the certification of the 2020 vote.
Brandon Fellows, 26, of upstate New York, was arrested late on Saturday “for his role in last week’s riot and assault on the Capitol building,” according to a statement posted by theFBI’s Albany branch on Twitter.
Fellows previously told Bloomberg News that he had“no regrets” for having entered the Capitol through a broken window, roaming the halls, and smoking a joint in the office of Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon.
Calls to Fellows’ mobile phone went straight to his voice mail. In his garbled, minute-long recording, Fellows said he turned himself in “for supporting the Constitution,” and that he’s committed to continuing his fight against, “our overreaching government that has told us that we cannot go out and work, that we cannot go out to see our family, that we cannot even leave our house. I am happily being punished for that.”
Fellows is one of about 100 people who’ve been charged in connection with the violent intrusion at the Capitol, which resulted in at least five deaths, including a Trump supporter who was shot by police and a Capitol Hill police officer who died following an altercation with rioters.
Three other rioters were also arrested over the weekend, including Lisa Eisenhart, Jack Jesse Griffith and Blake A. Reed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Tennessee.
According to an FBI special agent’s affidavit supporting Fellows’ arrest, the agency received its first tips as early as Jan. 7 linking Fellows to the Capitol seizure. Among them were links to Fellows’ personal Instagram feed, in which he posted a series of pictures depicting a person sitting on a police motorcycle.
In an interview with reporters posted on social media the same day, Fellows acknowledged his role in the riot, saying “Yeah, we went in there and then walked in and there’s just a whole bunch of people lighting up in some Oregon room…they were smoking a bunch of weed in there,” according to court filings.
Fellows went on to explain that the rioters had the tools to exact further violence on the Capitol and its guards.
“They know many of us had guns at our hotel rooms and vehicles,” he posted in a Facebook chat shared with the FBI, adding that the rioters weren’t angry enough “to kill the police or military. But we will fight them and make them retreat.”
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