A suspect in the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol has made an appearance in Federal Court in Pensacola.
FBI agents and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforement and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesus D. Rivera, 37, of Pensacola at his home Wednesday morning, said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Rivera was taken into custody without incident.
Appearing Wednesday before Chief U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Timothy, Rivera was granted pretrial release after prosecutors deemed him not to be a flight risk.
Rivera’s freedom is conditional: limited travel; meeting with a probation officer, and forfeiting all firearms. He faces a myriad of charges, including entering restricted grounds without authority; impeding with government business, and disorderly and disruptive conduct.
“This defendant’s prosecution is being handled out of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.,” Keefe said. “They are handling all of the prosecutions, now somewhere between 70-80 prosecutions that have arisen as a result of the riot and siege at the U.S. Capitol.”
There’s also a heightened level of coordination and interaction among the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorney offices, with state and local agencies -- the focal point of the Capitol siege headed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, all 93 U.S. Attorney offices nationwide – along with the FBI – continue to sift through tips and leads, all of which end up in one office.
“[To] identify those who violated federal criminal statutes on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, and we are handling all the arrests and the initial appearances,” said Keefe. “And then the prosecutions are being handled out of the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia – which is also handling all the more particular statements about the underlying facts and circumstances.”
According to court documents, Rivera uploaded to his Facebook account a five minute video showing a crowd in the Capitol crypt. Roughly 13 seconds into the video, Rivera’s face is clearly visible.
As the inauguration of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th president went off without a hitch – with 25,000 National Guard troops standing watch – similar preparations were made at the 50 state capitals if trouble arose. Keefe said there’s always a “good level” of security in Tallahassee even in peaceful times, with a high amount of cooperation among federal, state, and local agencies.
“There’s what’s called a ‘fusion center’ that’s curated by FDLE, that’s manned and staffed 24/7,” Keefe said. “It monitors intelligence, information from all sorts of sources. That went into very high gear; there was a surge of activity at that fusion center, as well as some federal and state command posts after Jan. 6.”
The scrutiny borne out of the attack, said Keefe, did not end when the new president placed his hand on the Bible and took the oath. Law enforcement of all stripes continue to monitor social media and continue to process tips and leads.
“Those with criminal intent; those that want to interfere with the functioning of our democratic government,” said Keefe. “They don’t have a schedule or a set of rules as to when they begin and cease their criminal activities. My hope is, with the peaceful transition of power in Washington, this sort of activity will wane over time.”
Keefe was appointed by President Trump in August of 2018 and took office the following January. With a new administration, he was asked about his future in that office.
“All U.S. attorneys who are president-appointed and senate-confirmed serve at the pleasure or discretion of the president,” Keefe said. “I will continue to serve as U.S. Attorney here in the Northern District of Florida until I no longer serve. That will be a determination made by President Biden.”
And U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe is asking for the public’s help as this massive, nationwide investigation continues.
“If you do see something that causes you to be concerned -- something that’s just not right – report it to local law enforcement; report it to the FBI,” Keefe said. “Because there is nothing too small, and we’ll certainly be investigated and looked at.”