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What we know about the “unprecedented” Capitol riot arrests

▶ Watch Video: New evidence shows extremist groups coordinated Capitol siege

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.

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Michael Sherwin, a federal prosecutor who led the criminal investigation until March 19, said, “we’re over 400 criminal cases.”

Prosecutors have called the case “unprecedented” in scale, and the government said in a court filing March 12, “The Capitol Attack is likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

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?

Sherwin told “60 Minutes” there are more than “400 defendants.” As of Tuesday, CBS News has reviewed court documents for 352 cases that have been unsealed. Of those, at least 156 defendants were also indicted by grand juries.

How many leads are being followed?

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in March 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 44 states outside of Washington, D.C. Among those arrested whose home states were known, the most were from Texas, with 36 Texans charged so far. Florida had 30 residents arrested while Pennsylvania had 29 and New York had 26.

How many have extremist affiliations?

Authorities have connected at least 57 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. One defendant, Jeffrey McKellop, was a communications sergeant with the Army Special Forces, a group known colloquially as the “Green Berets.”

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 four of those arrested had previously worked as police officers. Prosecutors also charged one current firefighter and one retired firefighter. 

Of the five police officers employed at the time of the riot, 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. 

Prosecutors have also arrested two former officers with the New York Police Department: Thomas Webster, who is accused of lunging at a Capitol police officer with a flagpole, and Sara Carpenter, whose arrest, an NYPD spokesperson said, was the culmination of the NYPD’s close work with the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce.

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

Of the 400 defendants charged so far, “the majority of those, 80, 85%, maybe even 90” involve individuals who breached the Capitol or trespassed, Sherwin told “60 Minutes.” More than 100 were also charged with assaulting federal officers or local police, Sherwin said.

The government said in a March court filing that while most cases brought so far were against individuals, prosecutors are also investigating conspiratorial activity that occurred before and during the attack. So far, more than 25 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.


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How many were women?

While those arrested in the January 6 mob were mostly men, at least 45 women have also been arrested for their alleged participation.

How old were those arrested?

Among the 111 defendants whose ages are known, the average age was 41. 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 155 people have been approved to go home after posting bail or agreeing to supervised release.

Recent updates on notable cases

Authorities have arrested two organizers of the far-right group the Proud Boys, charging them with conspiracy in a new criminal indictment. Prosecutors said they participated in an encrypted chat with at least 60 other people during the attack.

Two West Virginia men were arrested for allegedly assaulting Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after responding to the riots on January 6. They are accused of spraying police officers with 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 allegedly seen with the tactical-style “stack” of rioters who marched up the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Paulina Smolinski contributed to this report.

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