The charges say he was one of the first to enter the building, through a door that was opened by a small group that got in by breaking a window.
Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs was arrested in Florida on Wednesday in connection to the riot at the Capitol earlier this month, adding to the growing list of federal cases against those who took part in the mob.
Biggs, an organizer of the far-right, all-male group of self-described “Western chauvinists,” was identified through multiple videos and photos, according to a criminal complaint signed by an FBI agent who worked the case.
The charges say he was one of the first to enter the Capitol building, through a door that was opened by a small group that got in by breaking a window with a police body shield.
In an interview with the FBI on Monday, Biggs admitted to investigators that he entered the Capitol building but denied forcing his was through.
“Biggs informed the interviewing agent that the doors of the Capitol were wide open when he made entry into the building,” the complaint said. “Biggs denied having any knowledge of any pre-planning of storming the Capitol, and had no idea who planned it.”
One of the videos reviewed by the FBI shows Biggs responding, “This is awesome!” after someone asks him what he has to say as people enter the Capitol, the complaint said. The agent, whose name was redacted, also noted that Biggs wore what appeared to be a walkie-talkie style device, along with several other suspected Proud Boys members.
Biggs faces charges of obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding; knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority; and willfully and knowingly engaging in disorderly conduct to impede a session of Congress.
Biggs appeared briefly Wednesday afternoon before a federal magistrate judge in Orlando. Prosecutors did not seek detention, and he was released. He is subject to home detention and is allowed to travel to Washington, D.C., where subsequent court proceedings will be conducted.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested on Jan. 4 and taken into custody on suspicion of destruction of property for allegedly destroying a Black Lives Matter sign at a historic Black church in Washington, D.C., last month.The sign was set on fire after being ripped down from the Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the city’s oldest Black churches.
Tarrio was arrested upon entering the city just ahead of the march in support of President Donald Trump that led up to the mob attack on the Capitol. Tarrio was found to have two high-capacity magazines and faces an additional gun charge.