Pezzola grabbed an officer’s shield and used it to break the window, according to the indictment filed in court on Friday.
Pezzola’s attorney, Michael Scibetta, said Saturday he had investigated the charges but has not yet been able to discuss the charges with his client, who is being held without bail. One of Pepe’s attorneys, Shelli Peterson, declined to comment.
Three self-described Members of a paramilitary group were charged with conspiracy this month and accused of planning the attack on the Capitol. But the new charges against Pezzola and Pepe appear to be the first conspiracy cases involving alleged members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group of self-described “Western chauvinists”.
Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for Washington, said in a trial on Friday that Pezzola “showed perseverance, determination and coordination by being every step of the way to the frontline before breaking into the Capitol,” and that his actions were staggering through The Window and allowing an initial group of rioters to “cannot be overrated”.
Pezzola was later spotted on video in the Capitol building with a cigar he labeled “victory smoke” and boasted “knowing we could do this,” wrote Sherwin. He argued that the statements indicated that Pezzola “made significant personal efforts to take over the Capitol and that he did so in coordination with others”.
An unidentified witness told the FBI that Pezzola was dating a group at the Capitol whose members said they killed everyone they caught, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then Vice President Mike Pence, prosecutors said . The witness added that members of the group said they would be there on “20.” return and kill everyone they can. The inauguration of the President was January 20th.
During a search of Pezzola’s home in Rochester, New York, FBI agents found a computer USB stick containing hundreds of files describing the manufacture of firearms, poisons, or explosives. Sherwin argued that Pezzola should continue to be held without bail.
Pezzola, 43, served six years as an infantryman in the Marines and was discharged with the rank of sergeant in 2005. His lawyer said his client was self-employed and a family man.
Pepe, 31, was photographed in the Capitol and later identified as a Metro-North Railroad train worker who called in sick to drive to Washington on January 6 for a protest by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. 11 criminal complaint. Pepe, who lives in Beacon, New York’s Hudson Valley, has since been suspended from work on the New York Commuter Railroad without pay.
At Trump’s insistence, thousands of demonstrators flocked to the Capitol. Some then stormed it, temporarily disrupting Congressional certification for Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory over Republican Trump in the November election.
In total, federal authorities have indicted more than 150 people in the siege of the Capitol.
The Justice Department said both Pepe and Pezzola went to Proud Boys gatherings and had tactical vests with the group’s logo.
The group is known for violent clashes with anti-fascists and other ideological opponents during protests. At a remarkable moment on the campaign trail last year, Trump told the group to sit back and stand by. when asked at a debate in September whether he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups that appeared in some protests last summer.
Shortly before the Capitol uprising, Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested in Washington and told to stay out of town after he was accused of holding a Black Lives Matter banner in a historic black church in December having destroyed.