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Crime 2 men allegedly pictured carrying zip ties in Capitol arrested

06:15  11 january  2021
06:15  11 january  2021 Source:   cbsnews.com

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U.S. counterterrorism prosecutors are investigating two men who allegedly held plastic restraints or zip ties into the Capitol during the breach and riot there last week, the Justice Department and U.S. attorney’s office in Washington announced. The men were arrested Sunday. Support our journalism.

Federal authorities arrested two men suspected in last week's siege of the Capitol who were allegedly seen in tactical gear and carrying plastic restraints. PHOTO: Protesters carring zip ties enter the Senate Chamber on in the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.

Two men allegedly seen in viral photographs of the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol have been arrested, the Washington, D.C., attorney general announced Sunday. Larry Rendell Brock and Eric Gavelek Munchel were both allegedly seen in pictures of the riot occupying the chambers of Congress while wearing tactical gear and holding plastic zip ties.

a man wearing a uniform: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election © / Getty Images Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election

Munchel was arrested in Tennessee on Sunday, the Justice Department said. He was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A law enforcement source told CBS News that "a load of weapons" was found at Munchel's residence and they are assessing whether they were legally owned.

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Capitol Insurrection Zip Tie Guy Arrested by Feds ID'd as Nashville Bartender. The FBI arrested 30-year-old Eric Munchel Sunday in Nashville -- this after confirming his identity on social media and elsewhere as the man who infiltrated the Senate chamber with a handful of plastic zip ties , wearing

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a group of people sitting in a chair: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. The man wearing the black hat is allegedly Munchel. / Credit: Getty Images © Provided by CBS News Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. The man wearing the black hat is allegedly Munchel. / Credit: Getty Images

The Justice Department claims that Munchel is the man seen "carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cellphone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day."

Brock was arrested Sunday in Texas and charged with the same crimes as Munchel, the Justice Department said. The department alleged that Brock is the man seen in multiple photographs from the riots wearing a green helmet, tactical vest and black and camo jacket while also carrying plastic zip ties.

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Call the zip ties by their correct name: The guys were carrying flex cuffs, the plastic double restraints often used by police in mass arrest situations. They walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets

The MAGA rioter pictured carrying zip - ties and wearing full paramilitary gear has been identified as a Nashville bartender who stormed the Capitol with his mother. Eric Munchel, 30, has been named as the man pictured in the Senate press gallery with a bundle of flex-cuffs, heavy duty restraints used by

a group of people standing around a table: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Brock is allegedly seen in this photo wearing a green helmet and camo jacket. / Credit: Getty Images © Provided by CBS News Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Brock is allegedly seen in this photo wearing a green helmet and camo jacket. / Credit: Getty Images

Brock was identified as a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel by John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School. Scott-Railton told CBS News that he used a combination of facial recognition software and a group of experts to help identify the patches on his clothing. Brock's identity was first reported in The New Yorker.

After feeling confident in his identification, Scott-Railton told CBS News, "I decided it was time to contact the FBI and refer the info to them."

"I didn't immediately go public, but worked with [journalist] Ronan Farrow and his team of fact checkers at the New Yorker," he said. "I believe American public needed to know but wanted to be certain."

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Brock admitted that it was him in the photos and told the New Yorker he found the zip ties on the floor.

According to an affidavit, Brock's ex-wife called the FBI on January 8 after she recognized photos of him.

"I just know that when I saw this was happening I was afraid he would be there," she said. "I think you already know he was there. It is such a good picture of him and I recognize his patch."

Brock is the second member of the Air Force to be implicated in the Capitol Hill riot. Ashli Babitt, the woman shot and killed by Capitol Police during Wednesday's siege, was a U.S. Air Force veteran.

The arrests come one day after two other men allegedly seen in viral photos from the riots were taken into custody and charged. On Saturday, Jake Angeli, also known as the "QAnon Shaman," was allegedly seen in multiple photos and videos from the riot shirtless and wearing horns and a fur hat on his head. Angeli was arrested in Arizona and faces the same charges as Brock and Munchel.

Adam Johnson, a 36-year-old Florida resident, was also arrested Saturday after he was identified as the man pictured carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern and waving to the camera.

At least 19 people have been charged with federal crimes relating to the Capitol assault. Authorities continue to search for others who were involved.

Catherine Herridge, Grace Segers, Clare Hymes, Jessica Opatich, Audrey McNamara and Victoria Albert contributed to this report.

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