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Southern Ohio U.S. attorney investigating area protesters who stormed Capitol

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:00:32-05

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio on Thursday issued a warning to those who attended Wednesday's deadly protest at the U.S. Capitol.

David DeVillers said his office is working in coordination with the Cincinnati Division of the FBI to identify anyone from his district who violated federal law while at the Capitol.

“We are in continual contact with the FBI and they are actively investigating,” DeVillers said. “There is no set timeframe for investigations to conclude.”

Wednesday's protest against the certification of election results turned deadly and destructive once Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. Four people were killed and dozens were injured.

Photos show Trump supporters smashing windows in order to gain access to the Capitol building. Others show people entering the offices of some lawmakers, including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

DeVillers noted federal statutes that may be applicable, including:

  • 18 United States Code section 231 – Civil Disorder, which prohibits adversely affecting any federally protected function or obstructing any law enforcement officer from the performance of official duties, punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • 18 United States Code section 2101 – The Federal Riot Act, which applies to anyone who traveled interstate to incite, promote, or participate in a riot. This includes anyone who aided or abetted individuals who carried on a riot or committed a violent crime in furtherance of a riot. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • 18 United States Code section 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection. This law states that whoever incites, assists or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the United States faces up to 10 years in prison.

Investigators said people with information related to the investigation can contact the FBI at 513-421-4310. The FBI has also set up an online form to submit tips and digital media "depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building."