Foreign National Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years in Prison for Mailing Ricin to President of the United States in 2020
Two Pennsylvania men were arrested yesterday following their indictments for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining, counting and certifying the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Marshall Neefe, 25, of Newville, was indicted on federal offenses that include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers while using a dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and carrying out an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds. Charles Bradford Smith, also known as Brad Smith, 25, of Shippensburg, was indicted on charges including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Neefe faces a total of 10 charges, including seven felonies, and Smith faces seven charges, including four felonies. Both made their initial appearances in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
According to court documents, Neefe and Smith communicated with each other and others on Facebook in the weeks preceding Jan. 6. For example, on Nov. 4, 2020, a day after Election Day, Neefe wrote to Smith, “Im getting ready to storm D.C.” The two subsequently shared their intentions and plans to travel to Washington on Jan. 6. In one such communication, Neefe wrote, “We goin? ...Cause hot damn son I really wanna crack some commie skulls.” The two discussed bringing “batons” with them, and Smith messaged another Facebook user that he had obtained a military-style knife that he planned to bring to Washington. On Jan. 5, Smith commented on another Facebook user’s post, “Sacrifice the Senate!!!!!”
According to the documents, Smith continued to send Facebook communications on Jan. 6, including a video recorded after he and Neefe entered Capitol grounds in which he declared, “We stormed the gates of the Capitol.” While on the grounds, Neefe carried a wooden club and participated in hoisting and pushing a large metal sign frame into a defensive line of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers attempting to prevent the crowd from further advancing on the west front plaza of the Capitol. In a Facebook message sent after the breach, Neefe stated, “If i [sic] had it my way every cop who hurled a baton or maced on [sic] of us would be lined up and put down.” In messages Smith sent on Facebook after the breach, he stated “we literally chased them into hiding. No certification lol.” As alleged, Neefe entered the Capitol building, including the Rotunda, where he disregarded commands from law enforcement officers to leave.
The 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 Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office as well as the Metropolitan Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 185 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.
The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.