WASHINGTON - A Maryland man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges for his 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.
Brandon Heffner, 38, of Harford County, Maryland, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. In addition to the felony, Heffner is charged with misdemeanor offenses of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
Heffner was arrested today by the FBI in Windsor Mill, Maryland, and will make his initial appearance in the District of Columbia.
According to court documents, Heffner was identified in open-source video footage as among a group of rioters coalesced on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol. Heffner wore a black tactical, black helmet, and black backpack. Here, rioters, including Heffner, physically blocked an exterior door and held it shut to prevent police from exiting to deploy tear gas. Specifically, one of the individuals (not Heffner) blocking the door told another individual: "Spread the word. They're trying to come out and tear gas."
Several seconds later, the same individual yelled, "Hold". Also, a repetitive tapping sound can be heard on the video, consistent with someone using an object to tap or strike the door numerous times. Court documents state that the repetitive tapping sound is consistent with a rioter repeatedly striking the door with the end of a flagpole.
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 District of Maryland.
This case is being investigated by the FBI's Baltimore and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,200 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 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 tips.fbi.gov.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.