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Capitol riots: Insurrectionist found to have communicated with Proud Boys leader
Hundreds of Capitol insurrectionists have been arrested by the feds for their participation in storming the building on January 6. One of the recently arrested insurrectionists may further back the suspicion of having coordinated efforts in the riots, as he was found to have reached out to a leader of the Proud Boys.
Federal court documents reveal that insurrectionist Ronald Loehrke, who was recently arrested, communicated with a leader of the right-wing militia group ahead of January 6. Along with Loehrke, another insurrectionist, James Haffner, was arrested the same day. Both are charged with obstruction of law enforcement, unlawful entry in a restricted building, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Both Loehrke and Haffner were found to march alongside the right-wing extremist group during the insurrection, and Loehrke even scolded his fellow rioters for allowing themselves to be stopped by 25 law enforcement officials defending the Capitol. The statement of offense against Loehrke and Haffner also reveals that both men went to the east side of the Capitol in what could be a sign of a broader strategy to breach the building from several sides.
Supporting the statement of charges against both men was a series of text messages between Loehrke and Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean back in December of 2020. Nordean is also charged in a separate conspiracy case. Prosecutors allege that Nordean texted Loehrke, asking if he was going to Washington, in which Loehrke responded that he was, and Nordean later texted Loehrke saying that he was going to be placed “on the front line” with him.
Meanwhile, another insurrectionist was arrested Wednesday last week for his participation in the riots that led to five people dead and dozens of law enforcement officers injured. Nevada-based rioter Josiah Kenyon was arrested on charges of assaulting police officers with objects such as a chair with a protruding nail during the insurrection.
The DOJ announced that Kenyon has also made his first court appearance but will remain detained pending another proceeding.
The DOJ stated in a news release that Kenyon was at the Capitol on January 6, wearing a Jack Skellington costume based on the character from the animated film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
The FBI said in its complaint against Kenyon that his choice of clothing also did not help him evade detection as he was identified by a witness at the Washington Metro and two more people who worked at a hotel where Kenyon was staying.