© 2021
background_fid.jpg
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
HPPR News

Here Are The Texans Facing Charges In The Wake Of The U.S. Capitol Siege

Police clear the U.S. Capitol Building with tear gas as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather outside, in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Police clear the U.S. Capitol Building with tear gas as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather outside, in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn new information. Details are gathered from federal court documents and research from the George Washington University Program on Extremism.

Updated March 31, 8:37 a.m. CT

Two more Texans have been arrested after allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing the total number of Texans charged in the attack to at least 35.

Authorities say Elizabeth Rose Williams and Bradley Bennett entered the Capitol building alongside other pro-Trump extremists during the attack. The FBI received shared images, text messages, and social media posts made by Bennett from tipsters that appear to show Bennett and Williams around and inside the Capitol building. One post on Facebook included a video that clearly showed both Bennett and Williams on Capitol grounds, according to court documents.

"We were flashbanged and hardcore tear gassed on the front steps of the Capitol before breach," read the Facebook post, according to court documents.

A person familiar with both Bennett and Williams identified the two for authorities, and shared screenshots from Bennett that read, "Today was so NUTS!! CAPITOL FULLY BREACHED."

The two are now being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of an official proceeding.

READ MORE | Texas Lifestyle Coach And Boyfriend Arrested For Joining Capitol Insurrection, FBI Says

Updated March 29, 1:03 p.m. CT

Two more Houston-area residents were accused of driving to Washington, D.C. to take part in the U.S. Capitol insurrection, bringing the total number of Texans charged in the attack to at least 33.

Authorities say Christian Cortez and Benjamin Larocca, both of Seabrook, drove a rental car to Washington, D.C. to attend the march, and entered the Capitol building during the attack. The two men were identified using footage recorded throughout the day, according to court documents.

In one video, Cortez appears on Capitol grounds near a line of officers, alongside other pro-Trump extremists.

“Oath breakers! Oath breakers!,” he yells toward a line of officers, according to court documents.

As the video continues, court documents say Cortez could be seen continuing to yell at the officers while moving closer to the line. Cortez then appears to be sprayed with pepper spray by one of the officers, according to a sworn affidavit.

READ MORE | 2 More Houston-Area Men Arrested For Joining Capitol Insurrection, FBI Says

Updated March 24, 10:09 a.m. CT

A McKinney man has been arrested after allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing the total to at least 31 Texans now facing charges.

Authorities say they identified Kevin Blakely after recovering several publicly posted videos and photos, showing the man on Capitol grounds and inside the building alongside pro-Trump extremists.

Investigators also tracked the location of Blakely's phone at the time of the attack, according to court documents. The FBI said his phone was inside the Capitol building for nearly two hours during the riot.

Blakely is now being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Original story is below:

At least four Texans — including one from the Houston area — are among those being prosecuted for their involvement in the storm on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Joshua Lollar, Larry Brock, Jenny Cudd, and Eliel Rosa are facing federal charges for alleged violent entry into the Capitol, according to federal court documents.

Lollar, from Spring, was accused of storming the Capitol and clashing with police officers after attending the rally by President Donald Trump last week.

The FBI reviewed photos and videos on Lollar's Facebook account, which appeared to show him busting into the building and in a crowd that was trying to push through a line of police officers, according to court documents.

Grapevine resident and Air Force combat veteran Larry Brock was seen inside the capitol building wearing green body armor and carrying zip-tie handcuffs, according to court documents.

After several images of someone appearing to be Brock began to surface online, family members and friends confirmed his identity to the FBI. Brock told the New Yorker that he intended to be peaceful, and wore his body armor because he “didn't want to get stabbed or hurt.” As for the zip-tie handcuffs, Brock said he found them on the ground and had intended to “give them to an officer.”

Jenny Cudd, a former Midland mayoral candidate, and Eliel Rosa, a Midland resident, both entered the Capitol building during the riot, according to court documents.

Once inside, Cudd allegedly helped break down Nancy Pelosi's office door, a detail Cudd confirmed via a livestream on Facebook. During the livestream, Cudd expressed the pride she felt as she participated in the “revolution.”

Security camera footage, photos, and Cudd's own Facebook livestreams allowed the FBI to identify both Cudd and Rosa. Upon questioning, the FBI said Rosa admitted that he and Cudd had entered the U.S. Capitol.

The FBI is also aware of several Houstonians who participated in the Capitol insurrection, HPD Chief Art Acevedo said. That may include a former Houston police officer the chief said was under federal investigation for his alleged involvement.

The 18-year HPD veteran, Tam Dinh Pham, entered the Capitol building to take photos, Acevedo said. After news broke of his alleged involvement in the riot, he was relieved of duty on Wednesday.

He has since resigned.

This story was produced by Houston Public Media.

Copyright 2021 Texas Public Radio