TAMPA — A Seminole man, whom a federal prosecutor described as an associate of the far-right Proud Boys group, is the latest Floridian to be accused of crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Paul Rae, 38, was arrested Wednesday morning and appeared in a Tampa federal courtroom in the afternoon. He wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a logo celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win in Super Bowl LV. Chains rattled between his flip-flops.
A criminal complaint against Rae remained sealed late Wednesday. But in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel George noted some facts that he said made Rae more of a danger than others who have been arrested in the weeks since the insurrection.
In particular, the prosecutor said that Rae is a Proud Boys “associate,” and that he heeded the far-right nationalist group’s call to travel to Washington, D.C., in advance of a Jan. 6 rally.
The prosecutor noted that the Proud Boys were told to appear “incognito.” He recounted how the group’s members were among those who removed metal barriers and stormed the Capitol as congress and former Vice President Mike Pence were in the process of certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
Rae entered the Capitol moments after a Proud Boys member smashed a window and led a crowd into the building, the prosecutor said. He was “very much in the center of all the events.”
“While we’re not seeking detention, we are seeking some stringent conditions,” George said.
Those conditions include that Rae must be confined to his home with a GPS device to monitor his movements, with permission to leave only for work, religious services, medical appointments or for other necessary travel. The government also asked that Rae surrender seven firearms that FBI agents found when they arrested him at his home.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone approved those and other conditions. She allowed Rae’s release on a $25,000 signature bond, meaning he will pay the sum if he fails to make future court appearances.
Rae was represented in the hearing by a court-appointed attorney. He asked a few questions about the specifics of what he should do if he needed to travel for work or to visit his young son. He said little else.
Rae told a pretrial services officer that he had recently used cocaine, the prosecutor said. The judge ordered that he submit to drug testing and any recommended treatment.
His next court date is set for March 31.
Rae is at least the 332nd person to be arrested in the Capitol riots, which left five people dead, including a police officer. He is one of at least 32 Floridians to face federal charges.