Three men identified as Floridians are among 13 individuals arrested for federal crimes involving the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that Matthew Council of Riverview, Michael Curzio of Summerfield and Douglas Sweet were charged as part of an on-going investigation into the destruction of the building.
“Today’s charges are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible for the criminal acts of violence and destruction that unfolded during the U.S. Capitol building breach on January 6th,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a press release. “To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy.”
The FBI, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are cooperating in the probe. Five people died as a result of the assault on the Capitol building, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who reportedly was injured while physically engaging with protesters.
According to the press release, Council was charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.” Council allegedly unlawfully entered the Capitol building and pushed a law enforcement officer who stopped him. Curzio and Sweet were both charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”
A Capitol Police report also listed John Anderson of St. Augustine among those charged with unlawful entry. The Department of Justice release said Sweet is from Florida, but a Capitol Police press release said Sweet is from Hudgins, Va.
Numerous Floridians headed to the so-called “Save America March,” including a group sponsored by Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins, who said in a mostly-plagiarized letter he signed and posted on his Facebook page–the letter was addressed to the Florida congressional delegation–that it included 160 “of my neighbors who want to show their support for this action.” The action referred to was a call for investigations into “the widespread election irregularities,” a claim that has been repeatedly debunked and rejected by some 60 court cases and around 90 judges across the county, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
–FlaglerLive and News Service of Florida