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Press Release

Activists Charged in Red Powder Attack on U.S. Constitution at the U.S. Archives

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendants Caused More Than $50,000 in Damage Within the Rotunda

          WASHINGTON – Donald Zepeda, 35, of Maryland, and Jackson Green, 27, of Utah, were charged in a superseding indictment, unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court, with the February 14, 2024, attack on the U.S. Constitution housed at the National Archives in Washington D.C.

            Zepeda and Green are charged with felony destruction of government property for dumping a fine red powder over the document’s display case in the Rotunda of the Archives building. The cost of cleaning up after the stunt, which was intended to draw attention to Climate Change, has already exceeded $50,000. In addition, the act closed the Rotunda for four days.

            Green previously was charged in a separate act of vandalism at the National Gallery of Art that occurred on November 14, 2023. Green was charged with one count of destruction of National Gallery of Art property for that offense. As a result of that offense, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson had ordered Green to stay away from the District of Columbia and stay away from all museums or public monuments. On February 22, Judge Berman Jackson ordered that Green be held in the D.C. jail for violating the conditions of his release. 

            Both incidents were videotaped by supporters of Green and released online. 

            When he was arrested on February 28, 2024, Zepeda was headed to Raleigh, North Carolina, to meet up with another environmental protestor.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, specifically the FBI’s Art Crime Team, and the National Archives Records Administration OIG, with assistance from the National Gallery of Art Police and U.S. Park Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron A. Tepfer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

          An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 1, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-196