Top Trump donor funded rally that preceded U.S. Capitol riot

Clay Curtis
January 31, 2021

A Beacon man who was arrested on Jan. 12 and charged with participating in the storming of the Capitol building was indicted on Friday (Jan. 29) on additional charges, including conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors investigating the Capitol riot have indicted two members of the Proud Boys for conspiring to obstruct law enforcement protecting Congress, according to a news release issued late Friday.

US law enforcement agents found bomb-making instructions inside the home of a member of the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group who was charged with participating in the January 6 siege of the Capitol, prosecutors said on Friday.

At least four other members of the Proud Boys have also been charged so far for their involvement in the Capitol attack, including one of the group's top leaders, Joseph Biggs an army veteran who was accused of leading a group of roughly 100 Proud Boys who marched toward and into the Capitol.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, of Rochester, N.Y., in a photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Increasingly the investigations are focused on conspiracy and sedition charges, which can bring up to 20 years in prison, said Michael Sherwin, the acting federal prosecutor for Washington.

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The announcement of the conspiracy charges come as investigators have prioritized examining evidence pointing at the potential advanced planning of the attack.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, had "weapons- and bomb-making manuals" on a thumb drive device found within his home near Rochester, New York, prosecutors said in a court filing arguing that he should be jailed pending trial. Pezzola can be seen on video that has been widely distributed, using that riot shield to smash a window at the Capitol. The witness also told authorities Pezzola admitted that he would have killed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, if given the chance. Five people died in the siege.

In the wake of last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Proud Boys - a group founded by Canadian Gavin McInnes - has been under intense pressure.

The Associated Press previously reported that Pezzola is a former Marine.

Pepe, 31, was photographed inside the Capitol and later identified as a Metro-North Railroad train yard labourer who had called in sick to go to Washington for a January 6 protest by supporters of then-president Donald Trump, according to a January 11 criminal court complaint. He was suspended from his job without pay following his arrest.

Proud Boys members often wear the colors yellow and black, as well as other apparel adorned with Proud Boys-related logos and emblems.

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