U.S. law enforcement agents found bomb-making instructions inside the home of a member of the extremist group the Proud Boys, who was charged with participating in the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, prosecutors said in a court filing on Friday.
Dominic Pezzola, 43, had “weapons- and bomb-making manuals” on a thumb drive device found within his home near Rochester, New York, prosecutors said in a brief arguing he should be jailed pending trial.
More than 135 people have been arrested so far in connection with the Jan. 6 breach by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, which left five people dead and sent members of Congress rushing to safety.
Separately, the FBI said bombs found at the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees were placed there the evening before the attack. The FBI increased a reward for information about the incident to up to $100,000.
Pezzola, known as “Spaz” to associates, “poses a both serious danger to the community and a serious risk of flight,” the brief stated.
A lawyer for Pezzola, Mike Scibetta, said in an email that, to his knowledge, the thumb drive was given to Pezzola, was never opened by him, and contained a “survivalist” manual.
“The government has cherry picked a small portion of the paper to suit their narrative,” Scibetta said.
Pezzola was arrested in New York. He has been charged with destruction of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding and could face additional charges.
The court filing, citing social media posts, said Pezzola was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol. Prosecutors said he used a police shield to break a window, allowing other protesters to enter the building.
Once inside the Capitol building, Pezzola chased a police officer up the stairs near the entrance to the Senate chamber, and smoked a cigar while bragging on video about the attack, prosecutors said.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Andy Sullivan and David Gregorio