The Department of Justice said more than 535 defendants had been arrested so far in connection with the attack on the Capitol, January 6, 2021, one of the most documented crimes in history. FBI Director Christopher Wray said the federal law enforcement agency has “hundreds more investigations still ongoing,” including more serious charges still in store.
The state of Florida is home to the most defendants charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, with 55 total as of today. Texas is number 2.
So far just one defendant nation-wide, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, has been sentenced, to three years probation and no jail time.
Yesterday’s arrest of a Viera High School Teacher/Football Coach brought the total number of arrests for Brevard County to 7; the most arrests for one County in the entire United States. Franklin County in Ohio also has 7 arrests, tying Brevard.
That begs the question, why does Brevard seem to be leading the way in this criminal behavior?
Brevard County Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) voted against the certification of Biden’s election to the presidency hours after the mob stormed the Capitol.
“Whether you, I, or anyone else likes it or not, the constitution was violated and calls for an investigation should not be ignored,” Posey said in the early hours of January 7, when Congress reconvened to certify Biden’s win.
In a press release on the day of the riots, Posey’s office released a statement saying “I’m disappointed that today’s Congressional proceedings over counting and challenging electoral votes were disrupted by a small number of individuals who breached Capitol security.”
Brevard County District 53 State Representative Randy Fine expressed his outrage of the attacks in a Facebook post. Fine who is a strong supporter of Trump called for the death penalty if possible for those involved in the riots.
“I hope every single one of them receives the maximum possible punishment, up to and including capital, where the criminal conduct qualifies,” Fine said in his post. Fine himself, also called into question the validity of the election results that lead to the riots. “There is absolutely no question that a number of states violated our Constitution by non-legislatively changing their election laws at the last minute” -Fine’s Facebook post.
Failed Palm Bay City Council candidate Janice Crisp documented her January 6th road trip on a now deleted Facebook live video where she says she is on her way to DC to “kick some arse,” and “get revenge” while displaying the “O.K.” sign used to signify white supremacy.
In the comments of the deleted Crisp video, State Representative Randy Fine commented that the elected Brevard County Democratic State Committee Man and Woman, Sanjay and Stacey Patel were “human feces.”
In response to being blocked by Fine on his Facebook page under a post challenging the legitimacy of the election, he told his constituent to “go eat some shit,” along with other profanities in a private Facebook message.
Whether or not the rhetoric and comments made by these Brevard County politicians contributed to why Brevard leads the nation in arrests for the riots is yet to be determined. However, many of those charged already have stated their defense is blaming the information provided to them by their elected leaders to include President Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees. He infamously said in a speech from the House Floor during the confirmation of the Electoral Vote, “The mob was fed lies…..They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
This weekend, a handful of Florida Republican candidates will host a rally in Tallahassee calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis and others to put pressure on authorities to free the “political prisoners” of Jan. 6.
The “Free Our Patriots Rally in Tally” will be held this Saturday, July 10, and is hosted by Luis Miguel, a far-right Republican candidate looking to primary Sen. Marco Rubio. “Folks, The patriots who have been hunted down by the corrupt, communist FBI are suffering. Many of them are veterans who fought for this nation,” tweeted Miguel. “Let’s do our part to ensure they’re liberated. We can’t allow this in America. Be there at the Florida Capitol July 10.
Tampa Bay Republican and two-time congressional candidate Christine Quinn has also publicly stated that she will attend the event.
“Join me to support our Patriots that have been unlawfully arrested and detained without due cause,” posted Quinn to her Instagram account. Like Miguel, Quinn has consistently denied that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, and she also continues to deny that she lost her own election to District 14 Congresswoman Kathy Castor who won more than 60% of the votes.
Quinn has since dropped a lawsuit contesting her election results and says she will run a third time in 2024. She’s suing local Trump supporters for leaving her with all the travel expenses to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
Here is a list of those arrested so far in Brevard County.
|David John Lesperance |
69 years old
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
|Federal prosecutors allege that David Lesperance breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6 and can be seen on both surveillance footage and police body camera video inside the building. According to the charging documents, Lesperance gave a voluntary interview to FBI agents and admitted that he entered the Capitol along with the pastor of his church, who is identified in separate court documents as James Cusick, Jr. During that interview, Lesperance allegedly admitted that he took photos and videos from inside the Capitol, but said that he later deleted them due to fear of repercussions. He was arrested on June 24.||Federal: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds (Source)|
|James Varnell Cusick Jr.|
72 years old
Palm Bay, Florida
|James Varnell Cusick, Jr. is the founder and pastor of a church in Melbourne, Fla., according to federal court records. On Jan. 6, prosecutors allege, he entered the U.S. Capitol building and can be seen on surveillance footage taken from inside the building. Cusick breached the Capitol along with his son, Casey, who is a vice president of the church, as well as another man who is one of the church’s members, court documents indicate. In March, the FBI received an anonymous letter tipping law enforcement off to the Cusicks’ alleged breach of the Capitol. Both men were arrested on June 24.||Federal: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds (Source)|
35 years old
|Casey Cusick is the vice president of a church in Melbourne, Fla., according to federal court records. On Jan. 6, prosecutors allege, he entered the U.S. Capitol building and can be seen on surveillance footage taken from inside the building. Cusick breached the Capitol along with his father, James Varnell Cusick, Jr., who is the founder and pastor of the church, as well as another man who is one of the church’s members, court records indicate. The FBI received an anonymous letter in March tipping law enforcement off to the Cusicks’ alleged breach of the Capitol. Both men were arrested on June 24.||Federal: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds (Source)|
|Steve Omar Maldonado|
40 years old
Palm Bay, Florida
|At least three people who know Steve Maldonado, also known as Emilio Maldonado, called the FBI to turn him in. One of those people had recognized Maldonado in news coverage of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. Another had received videos allegedly sent by Maldonado from inside the Capitol, including one from the Senate chamber, court documents indicate. In a Feb. 3 interview with the FBI, Maldonado admitted to entering the Capitol. He was arrested in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 10.||Federal: Restricted Building or Grounds; Violent Entry or Disorderly Conduct; Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket on Capitol Grounds (Source)|
41 years old
|Kenneth Harrelson, a U.S. Army veteran, is accused in an FBI affidavit of conspiring with several other individuals, all of whom are affiliated with the Oath Keepers and are facing federal charges for allegedly coordinating to storm the Capitol. The FBI says Harrelson can be seen in a video from Jan. 6 inside the Rotunda of the Capitol with alleged Oath Keepers and others who forcibly entered the building in a military-style “stack” formation. According to court documents, Harrelson can also be seen in photos from later in the day with people affiliated with the Oath Keepers outside the Capitol, including Kelly Meggs, Graydon Young and Laura Steele—all of whom are also facing conspiracy charges. The FBI says it obtained call records indicating that Meggs and Harrelson spoke by phone in December and on Jan. 4, two days before the attack on the Capitol. Investigators also obtained records from GoToMeeting, an online site used for video conference calls. The affidavit says an individual using a mobile device with the same IP address as Harrelson’s phone organized a meeting titled “dc planning call” on Jan. 3, 2021. In addition to that, the same user organized some 30 meetings affiliated with the Oath Keepers between Sept. 30, 2020, and Jan. 3, 2021.||Federal: Conspiracy; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting; Destruction of Government Property and Aiding and Abetting; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds (Source)||Harrelson pleaded Not Guilty to all charges|
|Dillon Paul Homol|
22 years old
Cocoa Beach, Florida
|Dillon Homol was brought to the FBI’s attention by two former classmates, who say they observed Homol livestreaming while entering the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. The livestream allegedly showed Homol inside and around the Capitol, and featured him holding a red flag inscribed with “Make America Great Again.” According to video obtained by federal investigators, Homol said, “They can’t stop us all, come on we are going into the Capitol, can’t stop us all.” In another clip, Homol allegedly declared, “We’re tired of it, the communist cops of Washington, D.C, we’re storming the Capitol building. … This is our country.” According to an FBI special agent assigned to the case, Homol claimed he walked to the Capitol at President Trump’s urging, and he believed that Trump was leading the crowd there. Homol also claimed the crowd forced him into the Capitol.||Federal: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds; Obstruction of Justice/Congress (Source)|
|Kenneth Reda |
54 years old
|Reda was brought to the attention of the FBI by two tipsters who knew him. “Kenneth Reda lives in Brevard County. Here is his Parler account,” the first tipster said. “I was there at the steps of the Capital. I got into the capital building there was certainly a difference in attitude by some a small number mind you than the rest of us more violent and speaking poorly to the police…” Reda said in the Parler account identified as his in FBI charging documents. The documents said Reda used Parler to talk about going to D.C. to participate in the rallies to support President Trump.||Federal: Knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly or disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building|
The FBI is still asking for help in identifying hundreds of suspects captured on video during the riots and has released new videos from the event.
If you have any information on the individuals depicted in the following videos, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. Please reference the AFO number when calling or submitting information online.
Note: Video contents may be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.