Two Proud Boys members indicted for conspiracy in U.S. Capitol riots

Politics

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make ‘OK’ hand gestures indicating “white power” as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building to protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021.

Jim Urquhart | Reuters

Two members of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys were indicted on Friday in federal court for conspiring to obstruct law enforcement and other charges related to their participation in the deadly riots on the Capitol on Jan 6.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, of Rochester, New York, and William Pepe, 31, of Beacon, New York, were initially charged by criminal complaint and arrested earlier this month, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The men were indicted in D.C. federal court Friday on charges of conspiracy, civil disorder, unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted buildings or grounds. 

Pezzola also faces charges of obstruction of an official proceeding; additional counts of civil disorder and aiding and abetting civil disorder; robbery of personal property of the U.S.; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; destruction of government property; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted buildings or grounds.

Pepe was a Metro Transit Authority employee who used a sick day to travel to D.C. for the planned riots, according an arrest affidavit. The agency has suspended him.

Pezzola, a former U.S. Marine, was filmed using a police shield to break a window to breach the Capitol. Witnesses also told authorities that Pezzola, known to some as “Spaz,” said he would have killed Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if given the chance, according to a criminal complaint affidavit.

Prosecutors also said that Pezzola posted a video on social media smoking a cigar inside the Capitol and stating: “Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys.”

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