Grand jury indicts pair from insurrection who claim they’re journalists
A grand jury in Washington charged Nicholas DeCarlo and Nicholas Ochs with crimes related to the insurrection, including stealing and destroying government property, physical violence in a restricted building and “conspiring to obstruct” a congressional vote to certify the 2020 election. The charges were contained in an indictment released by federal prosecutors this week.
The indictment noted that both men posted footage of themselves in the Capitol online after the Jan. 6 attack.
In an interview last month with The Times, DeCarlo claimed he and Ochs were journalists, not rioters. They said they were affiliated with Murder the Media, a Monte Rio, Calif.-based company that livestreamed video.
Ochs, 34, of Waikiki, founded the Hawaii chapter of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys, which on Wednesday was named as a terrorist group by Canada. He was arrested after he returned to Hawaii from Washington. He was later released.
DeCarlo, 30, of Burleson, Texas, was charged last month based in part on his posts and comments to The Times.
He was arrested at his north Texas home last week and released on house arrest on the condition he not use the internet. He learned of the indictment late Wednesday from The Times.
“I expected something like this,” DeCarlo said of the charges, because “I’ve been speaking poorly of the government for some time.”
In addition to his work for Murder the Media, DeCarlo said he also worked trading bitcoin online currency.
“I can’t do any of that now,” he said. “How am I supposed to make a living when my career is online?”
DeCarlo and Ochs were charged with stealing U.S. Capitol Police flex cuffs and scrawling “Murder the Media” on the Capitol’s Memorial Door during the attack, according to the indictment and federal prosecutors, who cited a photo of the pair posing in front of the graffiti.
DeCarlo admitted to entering the Capitol but said he was there to report and did not break in or cause any damage.
“I don’t know what hooligan did that,” said DeCarlo, who goes by “Dick NeCarlo” online.
A video the two men posted online suggested they were active partici-pants in taking over the Capitol: Ochs says, “Congress stopped the vote when we stormed the Capitol. As we’ve been saying all day: We came here to stop the steal.”
“We did it!” DeCarlo replies. “That’s what I came down here to do. That’s what we did.”
Separately, federal agents this week arrested a member of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys for his alleged role in storming the Capitol.
Ethan Nordean, a self-described “sergeant of arms” for the Seattle Proud Boys, was charged with impeding an official government proceeding, aiding and abetting, knowingly entering restricted grounds, and violent entry.
At least 168 people have been charged in connection with the riot. Investigators have focused on members of several extremist groups, including the paramilitary Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, self-described Nazis and white supremacists. But many in the mob had no militant affiliations.
Unlike Nordean and Ochs, DeCarlo said he was not a member of the Proud Boys. But he said the Proud Boys had raised money for his defense as outrage grew on the extreme right about what they call overreach by “alphabet agencies” of the federal government, including the FBI, which has been arresting Capitol rioters.
A supporter is using selfie photos the pair snapped at the Capitol to make “Free the Nicks” T-shirts.
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