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Oklahoma man faces charges in connection with Capitol riot

Oklahoma man faces charges in connection with Capitol riot

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Andrew Ericson

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released these images, purportedly of Muskogee resident Andrew Ericson, who faces charges in federal court related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

A Muskogee man was arrested Friday on two charges connected to the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month after he reportedly live-streamed himself breaking into the building, taking a beer from a refrigerator and entering the U.S. House speaker’s conference room.

Andrew Craig Ericson, 23, faces a complaint alleging one count each of unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui authorized an arrest warrant at the request of an FBI special agent just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Ericson was in custody at the Muskogee County jail Friday evening.

An affidavit filed in Muskogee federal court states Tulsa-based U.S. Attorney Trent Shores contacted the FBI Jan. 8 after receiving Snapchat photographs showing Ericson was in the Capitol building when supporters of then-President Donald Trump breached the doors in a fatal altercation while lawmakers met to certify electoral votes.

The FBI’s subsequent investigation, according to the document, revealed Ericson used a personal cell phone to photograph himself and livestreamed himself entering the Capitol. The pictures reportedly appeared on Ericson’s Snapchat story, which includes his full name, around 3:30 p.m. Jan. 6.

Shores, according to the affidavit, told an FBI agent he believed Ericson lived in Muskogee, which is under the purview of the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Shores is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, while Brian Kuester is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. The affidavit did not explain how Shores knew of Ericson.

One of the Snapchat images shows the man identified as Ericson taking a photo while looking into a mirror as another man stands in the background. The second photo, which appears to have been taken by someone else, shows the man in the first image sitting on a chair with his feet on a table.

The FBI later compared the man’s appearance in the Snapchat images to Ericson’s driver’s license photograph, which led the agency to conclude the two are a match.

The affidavit states a witness submitted a tip to the FBI on Jan. 11 about Ericson, whom he knew and recognized, livestreaming his participation in what the agent described as the “Capitol siege.” A public post on Facebook shows the same Snapchat account user identified in the affidavit recorded a video of himself stealing a bottle of Corona beer out of a refrigerator in the Capitol.

The affidavit notes the witness who knew Ericson also reported seeing him take a beer from a refrigerator and believed he observed Ericson walk into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office at one point on the livestream.

A clip in a compilation of footage from Ericson’s purported Snapchat account, also made public on Facebook, shows a short recording as the person holding the camera approaches a sign above them saying “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

The affidavit states that a U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent reviewed the Snapchat images Jan. 13 and reported to the FBI that the photos of Ericson were taken in the area of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker’s Conference Room, H-230.

Ericson has a court appearance by video set for Monday before Muskogee-based Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West.

Video: FBI search intensifies after Capitol siege.

[NFA] The FBI and Washington's police department will jointly investigate the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he sustained while defending the U.S. Capitol this week. The FBI is actively searching for tips to identify more rioters, and is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information on who placed pipe bombs in the committee headquarters of U.S. political parties. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

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