Nicholas R. Ochs and Nicholas DeCarlo, co-defendants in a federal indictment charging them with conspiracy and other counts related to breaching the U.S. Capitol, entered not guilty pleas Friday.
Mr. Ochs, 30, and Mr. DeCarlo, 34, remain free on their own recognizance after they both pleaded not guilty to all seven counts included in the indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors last week.
In charging documents, the FBI included photographs showing Mr. Ochs and Mr. DeCarlo together both in and around the Capitol building during the violent storming of the complex that happened on Jan. 6.
Among the several photos included in court filings is an image showing Mr. Ochs and Mr. DeCarlo smoking cigarettes inside the Capitol while the invasion took place.
“Hello from the Capital [sic] lol,” Mr. Ochs, a self-described member of the Proud Boys group and former Republican state legislature candidate said on Twitter where he shared the image that afternoon.
Another photo included in court filings shows Mr. Ochs, of Hawaii, and Mr. DeCarlo, of Texas, posing in front of a door in the Capitol building that had been defaced to read: “MURDER THE MEDIA.”
The FBI alleges Mr. DeCarlo purports to be an employee of “MT Media News,” which stands for “Murder the Media News,” and can be seen wearing a “Murder the Media” hat and shirt in the photographs.
Mr. Ochs, the founding member of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, unsuccessfully ran in November as the Republican candidate for a seat in the state legislature, and the FBI accordingly had little trouble identifying and finding him. He was originally charged in a sealed complaint filed on Jan. 7, and he was arrested the following week and released.
A grand jury sworn in the next day later returned an indictment charging Mr. Ochs and Mr. DeCarlo with counts including conspiring to corruptly obstruct, influence or impede an official proceeding.
The indictment alleges the co-defendants agreed in advance to come to Washington, D.C., “to stop, delay and hinder” the certification of the November 2020 election decisively won by President Biden.
Mr. Ochs and Mr. DeCarlo publicized their plans and successfully raised money online, the indictment alleges. It also accuses them of being responsible for etching “MURDER THE MEDIA” on the door.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Mr. Ochs and Mr. DecCarlo each face one count of theft of federal government property; one count of depredation against federal government property; and three counts of unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, or violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
Edward MacMahon, a defense lawyer for Mr. Ochs, said in a statement that his client was inside the Capitol “as a journalist” and denied the charges against him, Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser reported.
“We look forward to a fair trial which will clear Mr. Ochs and vindicate the not guilty plea,” Mr. Macmahon said in a statement, according to the outlets.
A public defender representing Mr. DeCarlo declined to comment when reached by The Washington Times.
In charging documents, the FBI described Mr. Ochs as being the leader and founder of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys groups and has the phrase “PROUD BOY” tattooed on his arm.
Multiple self-identifying Proud Boys face charges related to storming the Capitol last month. Canada has since designated the group a terrorist entity.