West Texas flower shop owner charged in Capitol riot
DALLAS (AP) — A West Texas flower shop owner who posted a video on Facebook bragging about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office being broken into during the U.S. Capitol riot last week was arrested Wednesday, federal officials said.
The FBI arrested Jenny Cudd and another Midland resident, Eliel Rosa, in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, said Daryl Fields, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports that Cudd and Rosa appeared Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Griffin in Midland. Each is charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. The court set personal recognizance bonds for them.
In the Facebook video, Cudd says, “we did break down … Nancy Pelosi’s office door.”
But Cudd, a former Midland mayoral candidate, said in a video message to the AP that she didn’t personally go into Pelosi’s office or see people break down the door, and that when she said “we,” she meant all of the people who were at the Capitol. She said she didn’t do anything violent or destroy any property.
Her attorney, Don Flanary, said the charges reflect that.
“She’s basically just been charged with being there,” he said.
“She did not break into Nancy Pelosi’s office,” Flanary said. “She didn’t go anywhere inside or near it.”
“We’re pretty confident that the cameras will show she was only in the public portions of the Capitol,” Flanary said.
After the riot at the Capitol, Cudd’s Midland shop, Becky’s Flowers, was flooded with dozens of one-star reviews in which she was called a traitor and domestic terrorist, along with photos of her inside the Capitol.
“I walked through an open door into the Capitol along with several hundred other people,” Cudd said.
The newspaper reports that Cudd has been active in protests in the Midland area against restrictions because of the coronavirus, including mask mandates and business closures.
It was not immediately clear if Rosa had an attorney and a home phone number could not immediately be found for him.
A mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building last week following a rally the president held. Prosecutors have filed dozens of cases so far for a variety of offenses ranging from assaulting police officers to entering restricted areas of the U.S. Capitol, stealing federal property and threatening lawmakers.