MARYLAND (WJZ/CBS NEWS) — A self-professed white supremacist from Maryland was arrested Sunday after his GPS monitor placed him at the US Capitol during the riots on January 6, CBS News reports.
According to a federal affidavit, Bryan Betancur has made statements to law enforcement officers that he is a member of several white supremacy organizations and has voiced “homicidal ideations, made comments about conducting a school shooting and has researched mass shootings,”READ MORE: Eating Cicadas Is Actually Good For The Environment And Apparently They Taste Like Shrimp
His parole officer told the FBI that he claimed to have been inside the Capitol with the rioters on January 6. He also said he was tear gassed and was paranoid about the FBI watching him.
Betancur was on probation, and when he asked for permission to go to DC to sell bibles with an organization called Gideon International, the request was granted.
He had gotten permission previously to go to DC with this group. Betancur had originally asked to be allowed to go in December 2020 and then reiterated his request on January 4. That request was approved. Under the terms of his probation, parole and probation agents use an online software to monitor travel and make sure they are following court-ordered curfews.
Based on a screenshot from the software, Betancur appeared to have gone in the direction of the White House Ellipse before moving east to the area around the west front of the U.S. Capitol building, the affidavit says.
They believe he was in the area of the Capitol building from 2 p.m. to around 5 p.m. based on this information. He was also identified in a social media post from the account “bryan_patriot_1776” holding the corner of the Confederate battle flag.
Another photograph showed him to appear to be in a Proud Boys t-shirt flashing the “OK” hand signal, commonly used among white supremacy groups.
The affidavit says based on the prosecutor’s “knowledge of the facts uncovered in this investigation” that “at not time on or before January 6, 2021, was Bryan Betancur granted permission or authorized by rule to enter restricted grounds around the Capitol, nor did he, at any time, have authorization to assemble, display flags, or parade on the Grounds or in the Capitol building,”
“This did not involve rocket science investigatory techniques to figure out that he had been involved,” said Professor Michael Greenberger, founder and director of University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.READ MORE: Maryland Lifts COVID Mask Mandate Starting Saturday, Gov. Larry Hogan Says
Greenberger said many of the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day were misguided.
“These people who were involved in January 6 are very proud of it. They have selfies, they have videos, they are telling friends and acquaintances they did what they did and that’s how these indictments are running up so quickly,” Greenberger said.
The Department of Correctional Services said in a statement: “Parole and Probation has been working closely with federal authorities and is continuing its investigation in cooperation with them.”
Betancur was previously convicted for fourth-degree burglary and after he was released engaged with “racially motivated violent extremist groups on the internet, expressing his desire to be a ‘lone wolf killer.'”
It’s those types of ideologies that have put the U.S. Capitol and state houses across the country on high alert.
“It scared the wits out of everybody, and now the enforcement systems to make sure that the inauguration goes smoothly are on steroids,” Greenberger said.
Annapolis has increased its police presence near the state’s capitol building, though the chief said there are no known threats.
“I’ve been associated with law enforcement for almost 40 years, and this is one of the most coordinated efforts I’ve ever seen,” said Annapolis Police Chief Edward JacksonMORE NEWS: 3 Injured Following Gas Explosion In Pikesville On Friday
The affidavit said Betancur told his probation officer he was in the Capitol and then he tried to change his statement. But there are also witnesses who saw his posts on social media.