Proud Boy Who Smashed Capitol Window Had Bomb-Making Manuals At Home, Feds Say
Federal prosecutors have said one of the men who stormed the US Capitol had ‘weapons- and bomb-making manuals’ on a USB device at his home.
Dominic Pezzola was among the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters who took part in the January 6 insurrection, with prosecutors alleging the 43-year-old was one of the first to enter the building.
In court documents filed on Friday, January 29, prosecutors said Pezzola used a police shield to break a window before allowing other protesters to enter the building.
A member of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys, Pezzola was indicted on charges including conspiracy, civil disorder and unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds along with another Proud Boys member, William Pepe.
The Justice Department noted that Pezzola was also indicted on additional charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, robbery of personal property of the United States, and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, Reuters reports.
During a search of his home near Rochester, New York, police found a thumb drive with detailed PDFs for making bombs, guns, and poisons.
Titles of PDFs on the device included a book subtitled The Ultimate DIY Machine Pistol, Ragnar’s Big Book of Homemade Weapons, and The Advanced Anarchist’s Arsenal: Recipes for Improvised Incendiaries and Explosives.
Prosecutors claim Pezzola’s actions showed ‘planning, determination, and coordination’, though a lawyer for Pezzola, Mike Scibetta, said that, to his knowledge, the thumb drive was given to Pezzola and was never opened by him.
In an email to Reuters, Scibetta claimed the device contained a ‘survivalist’ manual, adding: ‘The government has cherry-picked a small portion of the paper to suit their narrative.’
Citing social media posts, prosectors claimed Pezzola chased a police officer up the stairs near the entrance to the Senate chamber and smoked a cigar while bragging about the attack on video.
Speaking to the Associated Press earlier this month, Scibetta described Pezzola as a family man who is self-employed after graduating from a private Roman Catholic high school and being honourably discharged following six years in the Marines.
Discussing the charges against his client, Scibetta commented: ‘If this in fact was Dominic, I think anyone would agree this would be wildly out of character.’
Prosectors argue Pezzola should be jailed pending trial.
In separate events, the FBI said rioters placed bombs at the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees the evening before the attack. The FBI has increased a reward for information about the incident to up to $100,000.
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