A Florida man who participated in the deadly pro-Trump mob attacks on the US Capitol was arrested after returning to Washington to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremonies, prosecutors said at a Thursday bail hearing.
Samuel Camargo, 26, was wanted by the FBI after one of his former classmates reportedly tipped the agency off to his involvement in the riots on 6 January, as Congress convened to certify former President Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 elections.
The apparent supporter of the former president posted several videos to his social media accounts that showed him “at one of the doorways to the U.S. Capitol Building, using his mobile phone to video tape his struggle with the U.S. Capitol Police over opening a door to the U.S. Capitol Building,” according to a criminal complaint.
Mr Camargo, who has not yet entered a plea, was arrested on Wednesday in Washington, prosecutors said. The court filing said he became “uncooperative” after initially being contacted by the FBI, when he “questioned the agent’s loyalty to the constitution before saying he had no more information to provide.”
The prosecutors said Mr Camargo fled his home in Florida on Tuesday as authorities attempted to arrest him.
“He admitted to the officer upon his arrest that when we saw police officers at his residence, who were there to effect a search warrant, he drove in the other direction,” Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Poulin said at Mr Camargo’s bail hearing on Thursday. “He drove directly to Washington, D.C. … His response to this information was to go back to the scene of the crime on another politically-charged day where there was increased concern for additional action.”
Mr Camargo has been accused of stealing memorabilia from the riots, with authorities pointing to social media posts in which he appeared to boast about his acquiring a piece of metal from the Capitol building.
“Got some memorabilia,” he allegedly wrote, adding: “Did it myself.”
The FBI has received over 100,000 pieces of digital evidence in the wake of the Capitol riots, with many of the alleged participants being accused of posting evidence against themselves online that shows them clashing with security officers and breaching the walls of government.
Mr Camargo was charged with civil disorder, knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
US Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui declined to provide Mr Camargo with release from jail as he awaits his trial.
“Frankly this country is very large and there are many different places a defendant could hide within it,” the judge said at the bail hearing. “He was, at a minimum, trying to flee from prosecution. At worst, he could’ve been doing something worse than that.”â¨
At least five people were killed in the violent attacks on the Capitol, including United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Several federal investigations have since been launched to determine who may have participated in the riots, including whether any congressional leaders helped the mob in any capacity.