Palm Bay’s Steve Maldonado arrested for alleged participation in Capitol riots

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Some reporting from the AP

A Florida man who was identified to FBI agents as being inside the U.S. Capitol during the January 6th riot was arrested Wednesday at Orlando International Airport.

Steve Omar Maldonado, who lives in Palm Bay according to public records, was arrested at the airport by FBI agents, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in an email. He is at least the thirteenth person from Florida to be arrested for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, according to a Justice Department list of defendants charged in federal court in the District of Columbia.

Although being registered to vote as a Republican in Brevard County since September 2008, public records show that Steve has only voted 3 times. According to his Facebook page, he works for Treasure Coast Charters. Records with the state of Florida list Steve as the managing member of Treasure Coast Dive Charters, LLC with his home address as the business address. The LLC however, expired back in September 2015 for failure to file its annual report. It is not clear whether he is still operating the business or not.

According to a criminal complaint, two people who had known Maldonado for years recognized him during news coverage of the riot, and a third person shared with them videos Maldonado had sent from inside the Capitol. One of the people then went to the FBI with the videos.

The people who knew Maldonado also recognized him in a photo on an FBI website containing images of people wanted for participating in the Capitol breach. The image shows Maldonado wearing a white “Trump” hat and waving a large blue flag, officials said.

FBI agents interviewed Maldonado at his home in early February, and he admitted to entering the U.S. Capitol and going to the Senate, the criminal complaint said.

Maldonado is facing charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct with the intent to disrupt government business.

During an initial appearance in federal court in Orlando on Wednesday, Maldonado asked for a public defender to represent him. He was released on an unsecured bond of $25,000, ordered to surrender his passport and instructed that his travel would be limited to central Florida and the District of Columbia, where the case was transferred.

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