A sixth Idahoan has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot staged by Donald Trump supporters.
Tyler Tew, a 39-year-old Idaho Falls man, was arrested Tuesday by FBI special agents, members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Idaho Falls Police Department, according to a news release from the FBI field office in Salt Lake City.
Tew was arrested on suspicion of several federal charges: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.
Court records filed Tuesday depict Tew’s actions that day and numerous text message conversations and photos found on his phone by federal law enforcement.
Authorities first received a tip about Tew on Jan. 12, when the FBI was notified that he was posting on Facebook that he was at the Capitol that day. Photos included in court records depict him as wearing a khaki jacket and red hat that read “Keep America Great,” a reference to former President Trump.
The riot occurred two weeks before President Joe Biden’s inauguration day, on the day that Congress was confirming his election victory over Trump. The uprising left several people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. The riot — which court records say caused over $1.4 million in damage to the Capitol and caused the evacuation of the Senate and House chambers — temporarily delayed the certification of the election results.
After a search warrant was served to Google, a mobile phone associated with an email address and phone number reportedly registered to Tew was traced to the U.S. Capitol that day using GPS, according to court records.
Charging documents contain multiple photos of Tew, including posts from Facebook and security camera footage from inside the building.
Months after the attack, on June 3, FBI agents served a search warrant for Tew’s cellphone, which he can be seen holding and taking photos with in security camera footage from the Capitol. A day later, Tew posted on Facebook that his phone was “stolen” and he was slow to respond to messages. One commenter wondered if this was due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to which Tew responded, “how did you know it was her!?!! Lol.”
Authorities found photos that Tew took during the riot that placed him at the U.S. Capitol.
Investigators also found that Tew made multiple posts on Facebook about the Capitol riot, as well as multiple references to the attack in text message conversations. It also appeared that Tew attempted to delete his internet history and location data.
In one conversation from Jan. 6, one person sent Tew a Facebook message saying: “Are you inside the capitol?? I swear I just saw a dude it looks just like you.” Less than a minute later, Tew responded by saying: “I was inside. Got pepper sprayed.” Tew made reference to being pepper sprayed in multiple conversations on Jan. 6.
FBI agents also found photographs taken from that day, which showed Tew taking selfies and other photos near the north door of the U.S. Capitol. One photo was close enough to capture the name tag of a Capitol Police officer, and investigators said they later confirmed that officer was stationed at the north door that day.
According to court records, Tew wrote in a Facebook post from 2:25 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 6: “They are actively storming the capital (sic). Taking it back from the corrupt politicians! 1776!”
Tew also made multiple references to the 2020 election in numerous Facebook posts, according to court records. He made numerous false claims on Facebook that the election was “stolen” from Trump.
In a Facebook conversation on Jan. 9, Tew was asked by another individual whether he was worried about being arrested for being inside the Capitol. Tew said, “Like peeps getting arrested that went inside?”
“I dunno … Not really,” he wrote. “Should I be?”
The other person wrote back with an emoji and, “I wouldn’t really be.”
“You got me worried when you asked haha … Scaring me,” Tew wrote.
Tew is the sixth Idaho resident to be arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, and the first from East Idaho. Aside from Sandpoint resident Michael Pope, all other Idahoans previously arrested have resided in the Treasure Valley.
Tew is scheduled to appear in federal court for a video conference on Thursday.