Army Reserve Sergeant Charged in Capitol Riots Alleged to Be White Supremacist

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Supporters of President Donald Trump march on Pennsylvania Avenue
Supporters of President Donald Trump march on Pennsylvania Avenue towards the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

An Army Reserve sergeant and alleged white supremacist who had secret clearance for contract work at a Navy weapons station has been arrested on multiple charges stemming from the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to federal authorities.

A criminal complaint filed Friday by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleges that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 30, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, was among the rioters inside the Capitol, gave directions to the mob, and harassed and verbally abused U.S. Capitol Police.

The Justice Department's listing of "Investigations Regarding Violence at the Capitol" shows that Hale-Cusanelli was arrested Sunday.

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In an affidavit filed with the court, the NCIS said that Hale-Cusanelli had "access to a variety of munitions" as a contractor with secret clearance at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck.

The charges against Hale-Cusanelli include knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disrupting the orderly conduct of government business; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building; and obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.

In a statement, Army Reserve Command said that the sergeant is currently serving as a human resources specialist with the 174th Infantry Brigade at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. He has served since 2009 and has no deployments, it added.

"The Army does not tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks and is committed to working closely with the FBI as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army," the command said.

The NCIS affidavit said that Hale-Cusanelli traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally on the morning of Jan. 6 near the White House, where President Donald Trump again made the claim that the November election was stolen from him by fraud. Hale-Cusanelli then joined the crowd that marched to the Capitol, NCIS said.

On Jan. 12, an NCIS special agent received information from a "confidential human source," or informant, that "Hale-Cusanelli was present at the riot at the United States Capitol Building and, as part of the riot, he entered the Capitol building itself."

"Hale-Cusanelli then showed [the informant] videos on his cellphone which depicted Hale-Cusanelli making harassing and derogatory statements toward Capitol Police officers both inside and outside the Capitol building," the affidavit states.

During the Jan. 12 meeting, the informant "reported to me that Hale-Cusanelli is an avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer who posts video opinion statements on YouTube proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints under the title the 'Based Hermes Show,'" the special agent said in the affidavit.

On Jan. 14, the informant used a device supplied by the NCIS to record a conversation in which Hale-Cusanelli "admitted to entering the Capitol and encouraging other members of the mob to 'advance' -- giving directions via both voice and hand signals," the affidavit adds.

Hale-Cusanelli told the informant, "If they'd had more men, they could have taken over the entire building," according to the affidavit.

He also "admitted to taking a flag and flagpole that he observed another rioter throw 'like a javelin' at a Capitol Police officer, which Hale-Cusanelli described as a 'murder weapon,'" the affidavit states.

He told the informant that he intended "to destroy or dispose of the flag and flagpole as soon as he could," it adds.

As of Monday, Hale-Cusanelli was among 75 suspects on the Justice Department's list of Investigations Regarding Violence at the Capitol who have either been charged or made court appearances.

According to an Associated Press survey of public records, social media posts and videos, at least 22 current or former members of the U.S. military and law enforcement have been identified as being at or near the Capitol building riots, and more than a dozen others are under investigation.

-- Matthew Cox contributed to this story.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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