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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trio of ‘Proud Boys’ Charged in Connection With US Capitol Riots

The newly arrested Ethan Nordean wrote, “we are coming for them,” and “no democracy, no peace,” on social media before the breach of the Capitol.

WASHINGTON (CN) — On the same afternoon that authorities arrested a member of the Proud Boys who calls himself the “Sergeant of Arms” in Washington state, prosecutors unveiled indictments Wednesday against two more Proud Boys already in custody following last month's U.S. Capitol riot. 

Ethan Nordean, also known as Rufio Panman, is at least the eighth member of the Proud Boys — a far-right extremist group and key player in the white nationalist movement — to be charged following the riots, when thousands of pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol while members of Congress were certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. 

Nordean is charged in Washington, D.C., where federal prosecutors unveiled charges later Wednesday against two other members of the Proud Boys who were taken into custody weeks earlier.

Nicholas DeCarlo, 30, of Burleson, Texas, and Nicholas R. Ochs, 34, of Honolulu, Hawaii, both posted to social media throughout the riot, and wrote “MURDER THE MEDIA” on the memorial door of the Capitol.

They were charged Wednesday with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States (obstruct an official proceeding), in addition to one count of theft of federal government property and three counts of unlawful entry, disorderly conduct or violent conduct in restricted buildings. If convicted, DeCarlo and Ochs each face up to 20 years in prison.

During their unlawful intrusion onto U.S. Capitol grounds, Nicholas DeCarlo and Nicholas Ochs defaced the building by scrawling the words “MURDER THE MEDIA" onto its Memorial Door. (Image via Courthouse News courtesy of DOJ)

Nordean, 30, was charged with obstructing or impeding an official proceeding, aiding and abetting and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The first charge, and most serious, carries up to 20 years in prison. The second carries up to 10 years and the third carries up to one year in prison. 

Prosecutors say Nordean was seen marching at the front of a group of known Proud Boys and later was at the front of the crowd that confronted Capitol Police and broke into the Capitol building. 

The Seattle-based Proud Boy was active on social media before and after the riot, and even posted to ask for “protective gear” and “communications equipment” on Dec. 27, 2020, according to court documents. 

Just two days before the riots, prosecutors say Nordean posted a video of a discussion that he had with another member of the Proud Boys, in which he discussed “blatant voter fraud” in the presidential election. 

He said that instead of being complacent, the Proud Boys were going to “bring back that original spirit of 1776 of what really established the character of what America is. And it’s not complacency, it’s not low standards. It’s ‘this is how it’s going to be, and I don’t give a god damn.’” 

In the same video, Nordean said, “Democracy is dead? Well, then no peace for you. No democracy, no peace.”

Nordean also posted a video that day with the caption, “Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us.”

Social media posts continued the day before the riot, when Nordean wrote: “It is apparent now more than ever, that if you are a patriot, you will be targeted and they will come after you, funny thing is that they don’t realize is, is we are coming for them. You’ve chosen your side, black and yellow teamed with red, white and blue against everyone else.”

Prosecutors say that two days following the riot, on Jan. 8, Nordean posted a photo of a Capitol Police officer spraying pepper spray, with the caption, “if you feel bad for the police, you are part of the problem...”

More than 180 people have been charged in connection with the breach and insurrection, according to a database maintained by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, and as of last week, the FBI had identified more than 400 suspects

Nordean was arrested in Washington state and expected to make an initial federal court appearance there on Wednesday afternoon. 

Categories / Criminal, Government

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