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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Arkansas Man Arrested on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Participated in Lower West Terrace Tunnel Riot

           WASHINGTON - An Arkansas man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

           Nathan Earl Hughes, 34, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of civil disorder. In addition to the felony, Hughes is charged with misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings.

           Hughes was arrested on Aug. 30, 2023, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and made his initial appearance today in the Western District of Arkansas.

           According to court documents, video footage obtained from law enforcement depicting the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, shows an individual, later identified as Hughes, as present in the vicinity of the Lower West Terrace tunnel for at least one hour. Hughes wore a black/dark blue and camouflage print hat with a frayed brim, distinctive black Mechanix gloves, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and a black “Infowars” branded shirt with an image of a space shuttle and the words ‘Space Force Est. 2020” written on it.

           Court documents say that, at various points, Hughes pushed against the police line in the tunnel and helped other rioters physically fight police in an attempt to breach the line and enter the U.S. Capitol building. At approximately 3:15 p.m., Hughes was at the mouth of the tunnel and signaled the crowd of rioters, “C’mon! C’mon!” while waving his hand in the direction of the tunnel. After signaling to the crowd, Hughes entered the tunnel and charged toward the police line.

           Inside the tunnel, Hughes continued to signal others to enter and confront the police line. Hughes then stood shoulder-to-shoulder with others and began to rock back and forth in a synchronized movement with the crowd. At about 3:18 p.m., Hughes assisted the mob with forcefully removing police riot shields and passing them out of the tunnel. Hughes also personally attempted to forcefully pull away police shields and pass them out of the tunnel back to the other rioters.

           At approximately 3:19 p.m., as Hughes was being forced out of the tunnel by police, he was observed using his elbow to strike in the direction of police. After he was pushed out of the tunnel, Hughes remained in the vicinity of the tunnel for at least 90 minutes, encouraging other rioters to “Pull them out!” Earlier in the day, Hughes had witnessed the mob forcibly pulling police officers from the tunnel and into the crowd.

           This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas.

           This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Little Rock and Washington Field Offices, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

           In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. 

           Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

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

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 31, 2023