New Jersey Man and Oath Keeper Pleads to Obstruction of Congress Related to Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Participated in Planning Chat in Advance of January 6
WASHINGTON — A New Jersey man, who is a member of the Oath Keepers, pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to 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 which was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related for the 2020 presidential election.
James Breheny, aka Seamus Evers, 61, of Little Ferry, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding.
According to the court documents, Breheny is affiliated with the Oath Keepers – a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias – and served as Bergen County Coordinator for the New Jersey chapter. On the morning of Jan. 6, Breheny was in a group chat titled “DC Op: Jan 6 21” on Signal, an encrypted messaging application. Messages from the chat reference Breheny “coming in with a team from NJ, and who also has contacts with several militia leaders coming in.” Other members participating in this chat have been indicted on conspiracy charges in U.S. v. Caldwell et al., 21-cr-28-APM, and U.S. v. Rhodes et al., 22-cr-15-APM.
According to publicly available video footage, Breheny was in close proximity to the ongoing violence against law enforcement officers that caused the East doors to be breached and emergency alarm bells to ring loudly. Videos taken by members of the public as well as closed circuit television from the U.S. Capitol show Breheny willfully entering the Capitol, and inside the rotunda.
A physical search of Breheny’s phone revealed text messages including, “I breached the Capitol door!” and “Made it in Brother,” as well as, “I have to clear chats.” His phone also contained texts from associates that read, “They’re going through social media looking at pictures to try to identify and prosecute anyone in the Capitol building,” and “Delete all pictures, messages and get a new phone. Praying for you brother.” Breheny deactivated his Facebook account on Jan. 8. According to evidence subsequently gathered from a search of Breheny’s Facebook account, Breheny transmitted photos from the Jan. 6 riots on the account and made various statements about the riots on the account.
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 New Jersey.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Newark and Washington Field Offices, with valuable assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department and the Capitol Police.
In the 29 months since Jan. 6, more than 1,000 individuals have been charged in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including nearly 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.