Authorities said Friday that a suspect in the Capitol riot, who had a gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his van when he was arrested outside former President Barack Obama’s home in Washington, has been charged on federal charges of possession of a firearm.
Taylor Taranto, 37, has already faced misdemeanor charges relating to his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 riots, and a grand jury indicted additional felony charges against him, alleging that he illegally carried a firearm without a license and illegally possessed a large the number of weapons. the capacity of the ammunition feeder, prosecutors said.
Earlier this week, a justice of the peace ruled that Taranto, of Pasco, Washington, must remain behind bars while he awaits trial because he would pose a danger to society if released. Taranto’s lawyer said she would appeal the decision.
Taranto’s lawyer, Katherine Guevara, did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment Friday on the indictment.
Guevara said her client was undergoing mental health treatment to overcome the trauma he received while serving in the military. According to her, he went to Iraq while serving in the navy and drove a combat vehicle in a convoy that was shot down by enemy missiles.
Taranto was arrested on June 29 after prosecutors said he showed up in the Obama area on the same day former President Donald Trump posted on his social media what he claimed was Obama’s home address.
During a YouTube live broadcast in the neighborhood, Taranto told subscribers that he was looking for “points of entry”, was going to find a way to the “tunnels under their houses” and wanted to get “a good angle on the frame.” court documents. Officials said he was spotted by law enforcement a few blocks from the Obama home and fled, although he was pursued by Secret Service agents.
Prosecutors said Taranto had two handguns, 400 rounds of ammunition and a machete in his van, which investigators said he lived in. Taranto’s wife told investigators that he came to DC because of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s proposal earlier this year to film an unseen video of the January 6 attack.
Taranto’s arrest came a day after investigators said he claimed in his YouTube live stream that he was in Gaithersburg, Maryland on a “one-way mission” and suggested he intended to blow up his van at the National Institute standards and technologies.
On the day of the riot, Taranto joined a crowd of people who broke into the Capitol, authorities said. It was captured on video at the speaker’s lobby entrance around the time Ashley Babbitt was mortally wounded by an officer while trying to climb through the broken window of a barricaded door.
Earlier this week, Taranto’s attorney told the judge that her client had spoken about the tunnels near Obama’s house “in a joking manner” because the topic had fueled conspiracy theories. In court documents, she stated that the comments he made about the “shot” or “angle” while outside the Obamas’ house only referred to a live broadcast he was filming at the time.
Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.