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Men from Clearwater, Lakeland latest Florida arrests in U.S. Capitol riot

Florida leads the nation in the number of residents arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot with 87.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. [ SAMUEL CORUM | Getty Images North America ]
Published Jun. 3

TAMPA — Federal prosecutors have accused two more local men of crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, bringing Florida’s total number of arrests to 87.

James Brett IV, of Clearwater, and Brian Boele, of Lakeland, were named in an indictment filed last week in Washington, D.C. They are charged with civil disorder and other crimes related to the siege, which disrupted congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The new indictment offers few details of the specific allegations. But federal prosecutors in a news release stated that Brett and Boele were part of a group that illegally entered Capitol grounds and moved to the Lower West Terrace, where rioters clashed with police.

Brett, 48, and Boele, 59, were both set to appear in court Friday afternoon in Tampa.

Their names were added to an ongoing federal case against three other local men — Alan Fischer III of Tampa, Dion Rajewski of Largo and Zachary Johnson of St. Petersburg — who were arrested in January.

Related: Tampa man fought cops; Pinellas men carried sledgehammer, pepper spray in Capitol riot, feds say

Fischer is described in federal court records as an associate of the Proud Boys extremist group. On Jan. 6, he was photographed marching with other Proud Boys to the Capitol, and was later seen among the crowd that pushed against a line of police officers, according to court records. He helped pass an officer’s shield out of the tunnel and later was seen throwing two chairs, an orange traffic cone and a pole at police officers, records state.

Rajewski and Johnson are alleged to have carried pepper spray during the riot. Johnson is accused of spraying an officer with it.

It is not clear what if any connection the five men have with each other.

More than 800 people have been accused of taking part in the riot. Florida leads the nation in the number of people arrested related to the siege. Texas and Pennsylvania are tied for second-place, with each state totaling 69 arrests so far.

The FBI continues work to identify hundreds more who were pictured in and around the Capitol during the riot, including many who are alleged to have physically attacked police officers and members of the media.

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