Florida man faces Capitol riot charges after posting images

January 24, 2021 GMT

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who posted photos and videos of himself inside the nation’s Capitol during a riot by loyalists of President Donald Trump is now facing criminal charges.

Federal authorities on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against Anthony Mariotto, of Fort Pierce, Florida, charging him with knowingly entering a restricted building and violent entry or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

A mob objecting to the election victory of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6 as members of Congress met to certify the results. Five people died in the violence.

A tipster called an FBI hotline on that same day to report that Mariotto had posted photos and video on Facebook of himself inside the Capitol during the insurrection. Mariotto’s Facebook account was recently deleted, but the tipster had saved screenshots of the images and forwarded them to FBI agents, according to a criminal complaint.

During a telephone interview with an FBI agent, Mariotto admitted to being inside the Capitol, but he said he thought he just “was being part of history,” according to the criminal complaint.

“Mariotto conceded he knew he was not allowed to be in the Capitol, and stated he would accept full responsibility for his actions,” the complaint said.

Mariotto voluntarily met with an FBI agent last week, and the FBI agent found photos on his phone showing him inside the Capitol that day, according to the complaint.

An online docket showed no attorney listed for Mariotto.

Mariotto is at least the ninth person from Florida to face criminal charges from federal authorities investigating the riot.