Federal authorities arrested two Brooklynites on Tuesday for allegedly breaking into the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6, hitting the duo with a slew of charges for their participation in the riot.
Prosecutors say the defendants — 26-year-old Antonio Ferrigno of Sheepshead Bay, and 23-year-old Francis Connor of Dyker Heights — wore Donald Trump-themed clothing when they entered the building during a joint session of congress, when legislators were set to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had surrounded the exterior of the Capitol for hours on the morning of Jan. 6, before forcibly entering the building by pushing through a line of police officers at around 1:15 pm.
Ferrigno and Connor eventually followed a crowd of rioters into the building, before posing together — along with another acquaintance, Anton Lunyk — for several photographs, where their faces are clearly visible.
Federal authorities later obtained a warrant for Lunyk’s cell phone, where they found he had sent at least one photo to both Ferrigno and Connor via Instagram messenger, according to prosecutors with the Eastern District of New York.
A subsequent search of previously-seized material from the Capitol showed Ferrigno in the background of a video livestream from alt-right personality Anthime Gionet, commonly known as “Baked Alaska,” who was also arrested for his role in the riot.
As further proof of the defendants’ guilt, prosecutors claim that both men can be seen on Capitol security camera footage from inside the building.
Additionally, after issuing a subpoena to Verizon, prosecutors found that Connor’s phone had been connected to a cell tower consistent with someone who was present inside the Capitol building.
And while searching the suspects’ phones, authorities found a group message between the three men, containing a series of banter, until Lunyk alerts the group to an arrest of a fellow Capitol rioter — apparently spooking Ferrigno, who quickly pivots to unconvincingly denying any involvement.
“I wasn’t in the capitol so idc,” he wrote. “That’s not me I don’t have facial hair.”
Prosecutors were apparently not swayed by Ferrigno’s walk-back, and later charged him and Connor with trespassing and disorderly conduct. Lunyk alleged participation in the Jan. 6 riot is being litigated in Washington D.C. District Court.
To date, at least 633 people have been arrested for participating in the Capitol riot.