Federal prosecutors are throwing the book at Capitol rioters, as many have been charged with serious offenses that could lead to significant jail time.
The government has secured federal grand jury indictments, including conspiracy charges against defendants believed to be members of the Proud Boys and other far-right organizations.
According to the Huffington Post, nearly a dozen defendants were hit with serious charges Wednesday. Two common charges are obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting.
Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, two former Rocky Mount police officers, were initially charged with one federal count each of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
However, a federal grand jury tacked on four other charges, including entering and remaining in the United States Capitol without authority and participating in disruptive behavior. If convicted, Fracker and Robertson could be facing serious jail time and their careers as officers would be over.
According to the New York Times, 26 people have been charged with conspiracy charges of assault. 43 people have been charged with interference with law enforcement, weapons crimes, threats, or property crimes. More than 100 people were charged with trespassing or disrupting Congress.
In total, more than 175 rioters are facing at least one charge, 20 have ties to far-right organizations, and more than 20 people charged are current or former military members.
Rioters weren’t charged or arrested on the day of the attack, but many were picked up at their homes or at the airport after arriving in their home state. Social media played a significant role in the days after the riot as many were identified on Twitter, Facebook, and even dating apps.