Hours after Darrell Neely joined a mob of President Donald Trump supporters as they stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, he invited three friends to a video call to recap his day. During the chat, Neely showed off several items he claimed to have nabbed from the Capitol, three witnesses told FBI agents.
He flashed four china plates, a baseball cap, and a jacket with a silver badge on the front and white letters on the back, court documents state.
“Neely boasted that he had attacked a [U.S. Capitol Police] officer and had taken the USCP jacket, badge, name tag, and baseball cap from the officer,” a person described as Witness 3 told investigators.
Neely, who runs an online conservative radio station called Global Enlightenment Radio Network, didn’t hide his souvenirs. In the days that followed, he wore the Capitol Police baseball cap during several broadcasts on his network’s YouTube channel, according to the FBI.
Now, Neely faces five federal charges of theft of government property, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building and a Capitol building, and demonstrating at a Capitol building. He was arrested in D.C. on Monday.
Court documents do not say whether Neely has an attorney. He did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment early Tuesday.
As the first anniversary of the deadly insurrection approaches, federal prosecutors continue to charge alleged rioters. Neely is one of more than 600 people accused of breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6. On Oct. 1, a mother and son were arrested for allegedly helping steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). A week later, federal agents arrested two women for their alleged role in the riot. One claimed she stole beer from Pelosi’s office.
The FBI first became aware of Neely’s activity at the Capitol on Jan. 9, when investigators received a tip from someone claiming Neely had entered the building. Agents soon identified him through video footage that showed him in the Capitol while appearing “to be holding a marijuana cigarette,” court documents state. He was also captured leaving the building while holding a cellphone.
Investigators matched the surveillance footage with an image of Neely in law enforcement databases. They also used subpoenaed cellphone data to prove he was in the vicinity of the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to investigators.
FBI agents spoke with three witnesses who worked with Neely at his radio network. The trio spoke with Neely twice on Jan. 6 in group calls, according to court documents. They also told investigators they spoke with Neely in a Facebook Messenger group chat on Jan. 6 and 7.
Witness 1 said during the first call, a portion of which was on video, Neely entered the Capitol and narrated what he was seeing, according to court documents. The second video call was around 5:30 p.m., Witness 1 said, as Neely left Capitol grounds.
Witness 2 recalled Neely telling them that he “acquired a jacket as a souvenir,” according to court documents. Witness 1 added that Neely claimed the jacket belonged to a Capitol Police officer.
Later that night, Neely allegedly sent a picture of off-white china plates with an eagle in the center to the Facebook Messenger group.
“Based on what Neely said, Witness 2 believed it was stolen from the Capitol,” investigators said.
According to court documents, Witness 3 saw Neely on the evening of Jan. 6. Witness 3 said Neely showed off the four china plates and a Capitol Police jacket, badge, name tag and baseball cap, according to investigators. (The officer to whom the items belong later told investigators that he or she removed them while decontaminating from tear gas and could not find the items after.)
In the days after the Capitol riot, Neely spoke about his experience at the insurrection, the FBI said. Investigators watched several of his broadcasts and noted that Neely wore a Capitol Police baseball cap in some of the videos.
Agents interviewed Neely two times, during which he said he went to the Capitol to document the rally “because he felt the events were newsworthy,” according to court documents. He also admitted to going into the Capitol and showed investigators videos he took while inside. He agreed to send the FBI images he took on Jan. 6, including a selfie on Capitol grounds.
A federal judge signed a warrant for Neely’s arrest on Sept. 30. Neely was released from jail following his arrest, court records show. He is due in federal court in D.C. on Tuesday.
The Jan. 6 insurrection
Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. What was likely to be the panel’s final public hearing has been postponed because of Hurricane Ian. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.
Will there be charges? The committee could make criminal referrals of former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview.
The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.
Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6.