WASHINGTON – A South Jersey man was found guilty yesterday for multiple assaults and felony obstruction during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 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.
Michael Oliveras, 50, of Lindenwold, N.J., was found guilty by a jury of his peers on November 16, 2023 in the District of Columbia on seven counts: civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; entering or remaining in a restricted building; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
United States District Judge Beryl A. Howell scheduled sentencing for March 15, 2024.
According to the government’s evidence, Oliveras traveled to Washington, D.C. prepared for “war on January 6” because he wanted to stop the certification of the Presidential election. At the Capitol, he swarmed and helped attack a unit of police officers on the West front, engaged in a brawl with officers on the West Terrace, and entered the U.S. Capitol three separate times during the riot, all while calling for the execution of traitors, and encouraging rioters to drag members of Congress out “by their hair.” Oliveras documented many of his actions videos he took himself.
On January 6, Oliveras posted to his Parler social media account, “Nothing can stop [wh]at is coming.”
After attending the rally, Oliveras marched to the Capitol at 1 p.m. where he spent several hours on the grounds and inside the building. Carrying a flagpole with an American flag, he began on the West front, where he joined rioters swarming police officers and pushed officers. At about 2:22 p.m. – less than 10 minutes after the Senate Wing Door initially was breached – Oliveras entered the Capitol building as he recorded video. In the video, posted to his Parler account, Oliveras is heard yelling “WHERE ARE THEY? DRAG THEM OUT BY THEIR F----ING HAIR!”
At 2:24 p.m., Oliveras boasted on Parler “I am inside the capital.”
Officers temporarily drove Oliveras out of the Capitol. But he reentered the building minutes later through the Senate Wing Door. Once inside, Oliveras encouraged the other rioters who were pouring into the building.
After police ejected him a second time, Oliveras attempted a third entry during which he stood in a doorway and shouted to rioters to “PUSH” and exclaimed “WE WANT THOSE F---ING TRAITORS!”
Oliveras, still wielding his flagpole, then joined a group resisting the officers who were trying to clear the upper Northwest terrace. As Oliveras shot video, an altercation broke out between the mob and police. Oliveras stepped forward and forcefully pushed into officers. The fighting continued as rioters pulled officers to the ground.
Only after officers deployed chemical irritant did Oliveras turn and move away. Still, Oliveras was not done. He stood nearby as police forced additional rioters North, shouting, “EVERYTHING AROUND HERE CHANGES FROM THIS DAY F---ING FORWARD!”
Officers eventually cleared the area, but Oliveras did not leave the Capitol grounds. Instead, he marched to the opposite side of the building and encouraged other rioters as they destroyed media equipment. Oliveras remained at the Capitol until into the evening hours, and only left when officers finally gained control of the area and pushed the last remaining rioters, Oliveras included, off the grounds.
After returning to New Jersey, Oliveras posted on social media about his trip to Washington, D.C.: “Did we want to get our bare hands on the flesh of those who have committed treason? Yes. Would I, as one of those red blooded americans, if the opportunity presented itself, grasped and removed one of those traitors? Yes.”
On January 8, 2021, Oliveras posted, “Patriots. Are any of you discouraged. What you saw in the senate. Was precisely what we want. Insurrection acts in motion.”
A detective from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, working on an FBI task force, arrested Oliveras on December 9, 2021, in Marlton, N.J.
Oliveras faces up to twenty years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, a fine up to $250,000, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
This case was 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 was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Philadelphia Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.
In the 34 months since January 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.