Jan 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

2 Proud Boys members charged with conspiracy related to pro-Trump Capitol riot

A person carrying a Proud Boys flag in Richmond, Virginia, on Jan. 18.

A person carrying a Proud Boys flag in Richmond, Virginia, on Jan. 18. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Two members of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were indicted Friday on federal charges for conspiring to obstruct law enforcement from protecting the U.S. Capitol during the pro-Trump siege on Jan. 6, the Department of Justice announced.

The state of play: Dominic Pezzola, 43, and William Pepe, 31, removed temporary metal barricades erected by the Capitol Police to control access to the Capitol, and stole property belonging to Capitol Police officers, per the indictment.

  • The indictment filed in federal court in the District of Columbia also includes charges of civil disorder, unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
  • The charges further allege that Pezzola confronted a Capitol Police officer, stole the officer's riot shield and used it to smash a Capitol window.
  • Pezzola was charged with "obstruction of an official proceeding; additional counts of civil disorder and aiding and abetting civil disorder ... assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; destruction of government property; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted buildings or grounds."

The big picture: Pepe and Pezzola were initially charged in a criminal complaint and arrested on Jan. 12 and 15, respectively.

  • The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason McCullough and Erik Kenerson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Taryn Meeks of the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Go deeper