Russell James Peterson of Pennsylvania was arrested Friday after the FBI said his mother posted on social media about her son being among the mobs of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The FBI said in a court filing that it already had evidence of Mr. Peterson breaching the Capitol when its investigators followed up on a tip they received about his mother’s recent Facebook activity.
In an interview, the person said Mr. Peterson’s mom “was an old friend and that she had posted on Facebook that her son stormed the U.S. Capitol building and ‘sat in Pelosi’s chair,’” the FBI said.
That interview took place around Jan. 20, an FBI special agent said in the court filing, which the U.S. government attached to a criminal complaint charging Mr. Peterson with related offenses.
A magistrate judge had more than a week earlier authorized a search warrant for records associated with a Facebook account attributed to Mr. Peterson, the FBI agent said in the charging document.
That account had been identified as broadcasting video from inside the Capitol during the invasion, and Facebook records confirmed it streamed live video at least twice, the FBI agent said.
Surveillance cameras also captured footage allegedly showing Mr. Peterson among the mobs roaming the halls of the Capitol last month, the FBI agent said in a statement of facts entered in court.
Mr. Peterson faces charges of knowingly entering in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings. Filed in U.S. District Court for D.C., the charges were unsealed after the defendant was arrested in Pennsylvania.
A magistrate judge ordered Mr. Peterson released on $10,000 unsecured bond during a hearing Friday, the Associated Press reported. He is due back in court next week, the report said.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged roughly 200 people so far in connection with the events of Jan. 6, when supporters of former President Trump breached the building while Congress met.
Photos and videos from inside the Capitol showed a number of people inside the offices of members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, among others.
Richard Barnett of Arkansas was famously photographed inside Mrs. Pelosi’s office with his foot resting on a desk, as well as holding an envelope he admittedly looted. He has pleaded not guilty to related charges he faces.