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As Capitol riot arrests pile up, troubling particulars concerning the backgrounds of the individuals emerge

This man, 64-year-old Thomas E. Caldwell of Berryville, Virginia, was arrested on January 19 and charged with conspiracy and several other riot-related charges. Like the Washington Post Katie Shepherd Caldwell's attorneys reportedly filed a rejoinder this week, stating that Caldwell was an excellent veteran of the Navy with a top secret security clearance. After leaving the armed forces in 2009, he was the FBI director.

Thomas E. Caldwell in the January 6 uprising.

Caldwell is just one of several insurgents who have military and police connections. Six Seattle police officers are currently under investigation for their presence in Washington, DC that day, as are several others from jurisdictions across the country. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has ordered a military-wide hiatus for all services as commanders seek to assess the extent of right-wing extremism within their own ranks, spurred on by the high number of military veterans involved in the Capitol takeover.

"The presence of law enforcement officers in the riot reinforces and reinforces the greatest concern many the public had about the nature of law enforcement in the United States," said Michael German, former FBI special agent and member of the Brennan Center for Justice & # 39; s Liberty and National Security Program, Shepherd said.

Other participants in the Siege of the Capitol were on the news this week:

Ethan Nordean, the violent bodybuilder from Auburn, Washington who led the Proud Boys' coordinated efforts to dismantle police barricades and facilitate the Capitol invasion, was flown to Washington, DC this week after a brief judge ordered Nordean's release pending trial. U.S. Judge Brian Tsuchida issued an order authorizing Nordean's pre-trial release after a morning hearing on Monday. Late that afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, Chief Justice of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where Nordean is indicted, upheld the federal prosecutor's appeal to uphold the order and instead transport Nordean to Washington immediately .
Jason Riddle, a Keene, New Hampshire man who boasted on social media for stealing a bottle of wine and a book from a Senate office, has been charged on multiple charges for his riot behavior. Prosecutors said federal authorities became aware of Riddle's involvement after Riddle gave an interview to a Boston television station admitting he walked into the Capitol because he "just had to see it" and had no regrets. doing this, which led several people to contact the FBI. Riddle, a former postman and former proof-reading officer, told FBI agents that he merely followed the crowd of rioters into the building, where he took and drank an open bottle of wine as he strolled across the Capitol with a red-brown leather book from an office called "Senate Proceedings". He also told agents that he sold the book outside the building to an unknown man who bought it for $ 40.
Jenny Spencer, a woman from Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, seems to offer a similar defense for her behavior – she claims she just wandered in with the crowd and then tried to walk quickly. She claims that she and her husband Christopher were forced in by the crowd to avoid being trampled – and then, once inside, they realized, "We have to get out of here." They told investigators they were just fewer than 15 minutes in the Capitol; However, the FBI found that Christopher Spencer had streamed live videos on Facebook for more than 20 minutes, singing and yelling at the couple along with other police officers, and that the couple did not "appear to be actively looking for exits during the videos." . "
Greg Rubenacker, a Long Island man who works as a DJ, filmed himself smoking marijuana from a vaporizer at the Capitol and posted it on Snapchat – and was arrested by the FBI Tuesday after one of his followers forwarded incriminating screenshots to her . “Holy s – t! That's history! We took the Capitol! “He said on one of the videos he posted online. Then he filmed himself smoking a steamer, blew smoke into the rotunda, looked at the camera, and said, “America, baby. What a time. "
William Merry Jr. of St. Louis County, Missouri, who was photographed with a broken piece of nameplate by house spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi with his 21-year-old niece, has also been charged several times over his role in the riot. His niece was arrested in mid-January. Merry's lawyer claimed: “He believes he had the right to attend a rally and express his political beliefs, as we all do, but he does not condone in any way any form of violence or destruction of property or any form of insurrection the government."
Brian McCreary, 33, a Domino & # 39; s pizza delivery man from North Adams, Massachusetts, was arrested after returning to work and boasting to his staff that he had "raided" the Capitol. McCreary can be seen in a photo leaning against a wall recording a video on his cell phone in the Senate Chambers. He is not accused of participating in the violence, but told investigators that he was present when Ashli ​​Babbit, a Texas riot, was fatally shot by the Capitol Police and re-entered the building after he was killed Security had ordered to leave the building.
Karl Dresch, a Michigan man from the Upper Peninsula who was arrested by the FBI in January, is the son of a late Republican lawmaker. He faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for obstruction of an official process and a bundle of misdemeanor charges related to his participation in the siege of the Capitol. Dresch is the son of former Republican lawmaker Stephen Dresch von Hancock.
Bruno Cua, an 18-year-old from Milton, Georgia, is one of the youngest arrested. Cua made it to the floor of the Senate while brandishing a baton he had used to threaten Capitol officers and allegedly got into an argument with them. Cua was a heavy user of social media outlets like Parler, TikTok and Instagram where he had used the PatriotBruno handle, but after the uprising he deleted most of his posts.

Archived messages from Parler reveal that Cua had made frequent references to Trump and called on his compatriots to participate on Jan. 6.

"President Trump calls us to FIGHT!" read a post. "It's time to take back our freedom the old-fashioned way."

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