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Pulaski County man charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol riots

Another person from Southwest Virginia has been charged in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Court documents indicate that Carson Lionel Rees, of Pulaski County, was arrested and charged Thursday for his alleged involvement in the riots, making him one of many in our region who are facing charges concerning the incident.

Rees has been accused of the following, according to a criminal complaint:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Parading, picketing and demonstrating in a capitol building

In the aftermath of the insurrection, FBI agents started to receive a plethora of tips from community members regarding those who stormed the U.S. Capitol, including information about Rees.

The tip contained a screenshot of an image posted to Rees’ Facebook account showing a group of rioters on the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol entering the Upper West Terrace door, with the caption “We’re going in.” Another informant, who claimed to have served with Rees in the Army National Guard, reported to the FBI National Threat Operations Center that Rees had live-streamed himself inside of the Capitol building with the caption “we’re in” but shortly deleted the video after streaming it. Additionally, when shown a screenshot of body cam footage from inside of the Capitol, the witness was able to identify Rees as one of the many individuals in the crowd.

As the investigation went on, federal authorities confirmed that Rees resided in Pulaski, and in August 2021, they traveled to his home and spoke with his mother, who told them that he was not home and at work. They then went to his workplace to confront him about his involvement in the riots and he told them that he had been “exercising his First Amendment rights,” according to the complaint.

Investigators obtained and reviewed footage from surveillance video inside of the Capitol building, which revealed that:

  • At about 2:37 p.m. Rees entered the Capitol building through the Upper West Terrace door alongside a crowd of rioters while talking on his phone
  • Shortly after, he’s seen entering the Capitol Rotunda while filming the scene on his phone and walking around the Rotunda for the next 15 minutes
  • At about 2:53 p.m., he approached and began to verbally harass a group of law enforcement officers with his finger extended and pointing at them
  • Right before 3 p.m., rioters in the group the Rees was standing with started to assault the line of law enforcement officers standing at the Rotunda door; Rees then moved away from the angry mob, leaving the Capitol building through the Rotunda door at approximately 3 p.m.

In the roughly 39 months since the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack on the U.S. Capitol, more than 1,387 defendants have been charged in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Source: WSLS News 10

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