2 Men Who Googled If It Was Illegal to Go Into Capitol Were Arrested

Two men accused of storming the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, were arrested last week after their own post-riot Google searches incriminated them in the attack.

Brian Raymond Jones and Patrick John King, of Mount Vernon, Washington, both face four charges related to their roles in the deadly insurrection, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in Capitol building.

The FBI was alerted to their participation in February 2021, when an anonymous tipster who has known both men since middle school said they viewed a photo on Facebook Messenger that showed Jones and King smoking pot inside the Capitol during the riot, according to charging documents.

Investigators followed up on the tip and were able to identify both men in surveillance footage and open-source photographs which captured Jones and King entering the Capitol amid scores of other rioters, court records said.

Prosecutors said the men met up outside the Rotunda and then proceeded to walk through the Capitol building.

The FBI received a second tip regarding Jones and King, according to charging documents. An anonymous tipster who owns a business near where the men live, told investigators that soon after the riot, a customer referenced a television inside the business that was playing news coverage of the attack, to which the customer said that one of their family members was “involved in that” and “went inside” the Capitol.

The Department of Justice

Brian Raymond Jones and Patrick John King inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The Department of Justice

Verizon Wireless and Google data indicates that cell phone numbers and email addresses belonging to King and Jones put both men inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, during the siege, prosecutors said.

After leaving the Capitol grounds, search records showed that Jones and King made several Google searches related to the criminality of participating in the riot, according to the charging of documents. Examples include: “Is it illegal to go into the Capitol;” “US Capitol facial recognition;” “Unlawful entry charge;” “Law definition of breach;” “DC police release photos of people who broke into Capitol;” and more, prosecutors said.

Jones’ search history also showed that prior to traveling to Washington, DC, he looked for information online about whether or not marijuana was legal in the city.

Prosecutors said King sent multiple Facebook messages discussing how he and Jones went into the Capitol where he said he “smoked weed n shit” and “was part of rushing the riot police.” King also reportedly expressed concerns about being arrested for his participation.

Investigators also discovered two videos in King’s Facebook records from inside the Capitol during the siege. One showed King smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint inside the halls of the Capitol, prosecutors said.

An attorney for King did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Insider reached out to email addresses appearing to belong to Jones.

At least 800 people have been arrested in connection to the attack, and more than 200 people have pleaded guilty.

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