Upstate NY Proud Boy Member May Face Terrorism Charge In U.S. Capitol Riot


A Rochester man who has been linked to the white nationalist Proud Boys group could also be going through federal terrorism enhancement of prison expenses after prosecutors argued he was a pacesetter within the violent U.S. Capitol riots.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, was arrested January fifteenth after a extensively circulated video appeared to point out him allegedly utilizing a protect to interrupt a window and permit pro-Trump insurrectionist rioters into the U.S. Capitol on January sixth.

“He, at that time, was the primary to breach the Capitol so properly that different rioters might stream by way of,” Assistant U.S. Legal professional Erik Kenerson stated at a court docket listening to Wednesday, in line with Politico. “His motion there at that window allowed scores of individuals to enter the constructing earlier than both legislative chamber had been evacuated.”

Among the many greater than 170 individuals arrested up to now in reference to the riots, Pezzola is without doubt one of the first defendants going through a “terrorism enhancement” to prison expenses, prosecutors revealed Wednesday throughout his arraignment. Pezzola was ordered detained on plenty of expenses, together with conspiracy and assaulting, resisting, or impeding a United Said Capitol police officer, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

Earlier this week, the Justice Division additionally advised that Ethan Nordean, a Seattle-based Proud Boy, dedicated terrorism for his function within the January sixth riot.

Kenerson stated at Pezzola’s arraignment, “He dedicated a number of crimes of violence and against the law that’s outlined as terrorism in that course of,” Politico reported.

Pezzola was additionally particularly named through the Senate hearings within the impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump Wednesday as Democratic lawmakers confirmed video proof of the rioters.

“Pezzola got here to the Capitol on January 6 with lethal intentions,” stated Rep. Stacey Plaskett, one of many Democrats main the trial.

Pezzola was proven on safety digital camera footage as one of many rioters who pursued Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman by way of the halls of the constructing, she stated.

“You’ll be able to see Pezzola within the mob, chase Capitol officer Eugene Goodman by way of the constructing,” Plaskett stated. “They had been out to homicide anybody they may get their palms on.”

A former Marine, Pezzola posted on his social media websites a biography that stated “’Marine vet / boxer / patriot/ Proud Boy 2nd°.’ Pezzola stored at his residence a tactical vest with the Proud Boys emblem on it,” court docket paperwork say.

Prosecutors additionally stated they discovered a thumb drive in his New York residence that included recipes for explosives and poison.

Pezzola’s protection lawyer Jonathan Zucker stated in court docket filings Wednesday Pezzola was appearing “out of the delusional perception that he was a “patriot” defending his nation” and went to the Capitol “responding to the entreaties of the then commander in chief, President Trump.”

Zucker stated there’s no proof to point out Pezzola injured anybody and that “being on the entrance of a line doesn’t make you a pacesetter.” Additional, the thumb drive’s existence did not point out whether or not Pezzola even opened it, Zucker added.

Pezzola’s request for home arrest was denied by U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Robin Meriweather, partially as a result of, as Politico put it, “she stated she was troubled by the federal government’s assertions that an informant stated Pezzola was a part of a gaggle that agreed to return to Washington to trigger extra bother, doubtlessly by killing officers.”

His co-defendant within the case, William Pepe of Beacon, additionally pleaded not responsible Tuesday and was launched on his personal recognizance, in line with the Democrat & Chronicle. Pepe, 31, who’s at the moment suspended with out pay from his job on the MTA, was charged with a number of counts together with conspiracy however not with federal terrorism.

Pepe and Pezzola had been recognized by investigators as a part of a gaggle of Proud Boys that gathered close to an entrance to the Capitol grounds on January sixth and chanted “F*** Antifa” and “We love Trump.” Pepe was seen transferring the metallic police barricades, in line with the indictment, and Pezzola was filmed confronting a Capitol Police officer who was making an attempt to manage the gang and ripping away the officer’s riot protect.