New York Man Found Guilty of Felony Obstruction and Other Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
WASHINGTON - A Washington state man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his actions 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 presidential election.
Benjamin John Silva, 36, of Yacolt, Washington, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of civil disorder. In addition to the felony, Silva is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Silva was arrested today in Portland, Oregon, and made his initial appearance in the District of Oregon.
According to court documents, law enforcement officials identified Silva as present among the crowd of rioters resisting police lines on Jan. 6, 2021, at the tunnel entrance of the Capitol building’s Lower West Terrace. Court documents say that in open-source video footage, an individual, later identified as Silva, can be seen participating in the collective push against the police line formed in the tunnel. Additional video footage reviewed by law enforcement shows Silva at the front of the police line with a hand placed against an officer’s riot shield.
Court documents state that open-source video from the tunnel entrance show Silva as he makes his exit from the tunnel with his eyes closed and tearing, a common reaction to being pepper sprayed. An unknown individual then attempts to pour water on Silva’s eyes and face. Another individual then asks Silva, “What’s your name? Where you from?” Silva replies, “Ben Silva.” The other then asks, “What state?” to which Silva replies, “Washington State.” Silva then appears to exit the tunnel.
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 Western District of Washington and the District of Oregon.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Seattle and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Portland Field Office, U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 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.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.