Firefighter, DJ, accountant among the rioters accused by LI on January 6


LONG ISLAND, NY – It’s been a year since more than a thousand people stormed the United States Capitol in a multi-pronged attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Some of them were New Yorkers, identified by neighbors and relatives through national media coverage, photos, videos and comments from the rioters themselves on social media, and tracked down by FBI investigators. and “sedition seekers” across the country. Most were accused of entering the Capitol and disrupting proceedings, others were also charged with conspiracy and assault with charges of deadly or dangerous weapons.

According to the Justice Department, more than 700 people have so far been charged in connection with the riot on Capitol Hill. Half a dozen of those charged are from Long Island.

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One was a former New York firefighter who told a friend he was “at the tip of the spear.” Another, an aspiring DJ, photographed himself smoking marijuana inside the Capitol. One of the defendants, a local accountant, was seen in photos relaxing in the Senate offices.

Among the Long Islanders arrested, one pleaded guilty. The rest are still grappling with legal action.

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And these procedures can take some time. In October, the court ruled that the government deserved more time to gather its cases “because of the number of people currently indicted in connection with the investigation into the Capitol attack and the nature of those charges, of the investigation of numerous other persons, volume and nature of potential discovery material, and the reasonable time required for effective preparation by all parties taking into account the exercise of due diligence. “

In one case, this process took on a surreal aspect when a New Yorker fired his court-appointed lawyer and then attempted to charge the government millions of dollars for the time and effort it would have taken to represent himself. A puzzled judge told him that now was how it worked.

Each case is prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.

Here are the Long Islanders who were charged in the riot and where their cases are now.

Gabriel Brown, from Bayville, was arrested on June 30, 2021. He was charged with destruction or damage to buildings or property under special maritime and territorial jurisdiction; Restricted building or land; Disruptive and disruptive driving in a building or on a restricted site; and Act of violence on the ground of the American captiol.

According to prosecutors, Brown was part of a group that assaulted a media staging area outside the capital building. He and others forced members of the media to flee, then attacked the equipment they left behind, prosecutors said, destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment.
Brown also recorded much of the day’s violence and posted it on his own YouTube channel.

He is currently released from prison on his own contract. Its next hearing is scheduled for March 22, 2022.

Thomas Fee, from Freeport, was arrested on January 19, 2021. He was accused of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without legal authorization; Violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds.

Fee is a retired FDNY firefighter who, prosecutors said, sent his brother’s girlfriend selfies of himself inside the Capitol building, claiming he was “on the cutting edge of the spear”. The man Fee allegedly sent the photo and video to is a special agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, part of the State Department.

According to the New York Post, Fee was suspended from office as a volunteer firefighter in the Hempstead Fire Department in 2004 after yelling racial slurs at a black doctor.

Fee was released on his own contract. Its next hearing is scheduled for January 11, 2022.

Zvonimir Joseph Jurlina, of Bethpage, was arrested on June 28, 2021. He was charged with destruction of property in a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and with complicity; Act of physical violence on the grounds.

Prosecutors say Jurlina was also involved in the assault on the media staging area and the equipment there. Officials say Jurlina attacked the equipment and attempted to turn it on. He also encouraged people to steal the equipment, prosecutors said, and took a wireless microphone for himself to keep as a souvenir.

Jurlina also streamed the insurgency live on her YouTube channel.

Jurlina was released on her own contract. Its next hearing is scheduled for January 11, 2022.

Justin McAuliffe, of Bellmore, was arrested on January 28. He was charged with knowingly entering and staying on restricted grounds without legal authorization and / or engaging in disorderly conduct near a restricted building to interfere with official functions.

McAuliffe, an accountant, has been seen in photos lounging in Senate offices. McAuliffe had sent someone a screenshot of their phone showing it connected to Senate public wifi.

“Yes, I was in one of the offices,” McAuliffe wrote in a message to a friend. “Some people were smoking a joint in the room, lol. The cops came in and peed. Okay guys really? They didn’t even ask us to leave right away. They let us sit and hang out and relax. “

McAuliffe pleaded guilty to the charge against him on November 23, 2021. He was released on bail and is due to be sentenced on January 28, 2022.

Christopher Ortiz, of Huntington, was arrested on January 27, 2021. He was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a building or restricted land without legal authorization and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds.

Officials say Ortiz posted videos of himself inside the Capitol on his Instagram account, shouting “Forward! Forward!” The videos were recorded by people following him and sent to the FBI.

When a friend of his asked him what he was doing on Capitol Hill, Ortiz allegedly told them he “was involved in government”.

Ortiz was released on his own contract. Its next hearing is scheduled for January 20, 2022.

Greg Rubenacker, from Farmingdale, was arrested on February 9, 2021. He was charged with civil unrest; Obstruction of formal proceedings; Assault, resist or hinder certain agents; Enter and stay in a building or a restricted lot; Disruptive and disruptive driving in a building or on a restricted site; Engage in physical violence in a building or in a small area; Disorderly conduct in a Capitol; Obstructing passage through the grounds or buildings of the Capitol; Act of physical violence in the grounds or buildings of the Capitol; and parade, demonstrate or picket in a Capitol building.

Officials say Rubenacker, a DJ, sent several videos of himself on Capitol Hill to an acquaintance via Snapchat. Acquaintance reported him to the FBI. Prosecutors say Rubenacker was part of the group that broke into the Capitol building. He was seen on his Snapchat videos smoking marijuana inside the building, officials said.

At one point, prosecutors say he can be heard on video shouting “This is history! We took the Capitol!”

Rubenacker has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him. But court documents show he has a plea agreement hearing scheduled for Jan. 14, 2022.


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