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Press Release

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

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Allegedly Fired Gun from Scaffolding

           WASHINGTON —  An Illinois man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his alleged conduct 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.

           John Banuelos, 39, of Summit, Illinois, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; willfully and knowingly carry on or have readily accessible to any individual on the grounds or in any Capitol buildings, a firearm; and discharging a firearm or explosives, use a dangerous weapon, or ignite an incendiary device on the grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings. Banuelos is also charged with a misdemeanor offense of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

           The FBI arrested Banuelos today in Summit, Illinois, and he made his initial appearance in the Northern District of Illinois.

           According to court documents, Banuelos was identified in open-source media near the former President's 'Stop the Steal' rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Banuelos entered the restricted grounds and joined the growing crowd on the west side of the Capitol perimeter. At the west side of the Capitol, a mob of rioters had become increasingly hostile towards United States Capital Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers, pushing officers back to the West Plaza and the base of the Inaugural stage.

           At approximately 1:24 p.m., Banuelos made his way to the front of the crowd of rioters opposite the police line. Here, officers were attempting to reestablish the police line using metal barricades after a skirmish with the crowd. Capitol building closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage captures Banuelos pointing at officers and allegedly kicking the metal barricade at least two times. Banuelos is then seen allegedly holding up his gloved hand to form the shape of a "finger gun" and simulating "firing" multiple times in the direction of the officers.

           At approximately 1:56 p.m., Banuelos joined with other rioters and allegedly used his body to forcefully push against officers in an attempt to breach the police line. Court documents say that the push by the crowd continued, on and off, for approximately three minutes. During this sequence, Banuelos raised his jacket to reveal a firearm in his waistband. He then moved to the south side of the West Plaza, where he was a part of a crowd that had breached the police line.

           Banuelos moved to the south side of the West Plaza where, at approximately 2:28 p.m., Banuelos was a part of the crowd that breached the police line. At approximately 2:33 p.m., Banuelos is captured on CCTV footage scaling the southwest Inaugural stage scaffolding. Banuelos is then seen waving the crowd toward him before pulling a firearm from his waistband.  Open-source media and CCTV captured Banuelos allegedly raising the gun over his head and, at approximately 2:34 p.m., firing two shots into the air. Banuelos returned the firearm to his waistband and climbed down the scaffolding, rejoining the crowd below.

           The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois provided valuable assistance.

           The FBI's Chicago and Washington Field Offices are investigating this case. The U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

           In the 38 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,358 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 486 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

           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.

Updated March 8, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-232