In this Jan. 6 photo, Ethan Nordean, with backward baseball hat and bullhorn, leads members of the far-right group Proud Boys in marching before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Nordean, 30, of Auburn, Washington, has described himself as the sergeant-at-arms of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys. The Justice Department has charged him in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting others who damaged federal property, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building. He asked a judge Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, to release him from detention pending trial. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In this Jan. 6 photo, Ethan Nordean, with backward baseball hat and bullhorn, leads members of the far-right group Proud Boys in marching before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Nordean, 30, of Auburn, Washington, has described himself as the sergeant-at-arms of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys. The Justice Department has charged him in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting others who damaged federal property, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building. He asked a judge Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, to release him from detention pending trial. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Judge halts Proud Boy’s release in Capitol breach case

  • By Gene Johnson The Associated Press
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2021 1:30am
  • NewsNational News

By Gene Johnson

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — The self-described “sergeant-at-arms” of the Seattle chapter of the far-right group Proud Boys will remain in custody for now pending charges filed in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida in Seattle initially said Monday that 30-year-old Ethan Nordean should be released pending trial, rejecting the government’s arguments that he posed a danger to the community and was a flight risk. But Tsuchida then halted his own decision and gave the Justice Department time to appeal.

Within hours, an appeal had been filed and U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., further blocked Nordean’s release pending a review. She also directed U.S. marshals to transport Nordean to the District of Columbia to face the charges against him.

The Proud Boys are an extremist and male-chauvinist organization known for brawling with antifa demonstrators. At least eight defendants linked to the group have been charged in the Capitol riot.

Nordean of Auburn also goes by the name Rufio Panman and has described himself as the sergeant-at-arms and as the president of the Proud Boys’ Seattle chapter.

He was arrested last week after being charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., with obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting others who damaged federal property, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building.

Obstructing an official proceeding, the most serious of the charges, carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Nordean has not entered pleas to any of the charges.

The Justice Department said Nordean helped plan the Proud Boys’ actions at the Capitol, marched at the front of a group of Proud Boys shortly before the Jan. 6 riot and broke into the Capitol building with other members of the group. He was near the front of the mob that confronted vastly outnumbered Capitol Police officers, prosecutors said.

In asking for him to remain in custody, assistant U.S. attorney Jehiel Baer noted that in the days before the riot, Nordean posted on social media saying, “Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us,” as well as a photo of himself with the words, “And fight we will.”

“There is no reason to believe that Defendant, or any of his Proud Boy associates, are any more interested in ‘complacency,’ or any less interested in fomenting rebellion, than they were on January 5,” prosecutors wrote in a memo arguing for his detention.

“If nothing else, the events of January 6, 2021, have exposed the size and determination of right-wing fringe groups in the United States, and their willingness to place themselves and others in danger to further their political ideology,” the memo said.

Baer noted that Nordean gained notoriety for knocking out a counter-protester in 2018 in Portland, Ore., an event that was captured on video and which garnered him a guest appearance on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” program.

Federal agents who searched his house after the Capitol riot found a valid passport on a bedside table issued to another man; Nordean had recently commented on social media suggesting he wanted to start a new life somewhere else, Baer said.

And further, Baer argued, one of the allegations — that Nordean aided and abetted the destruction or attempted destruction of federal property, with the intent to coerce the government — is a federal crime of terrorism punishable by more than 10 years in prison. Such crimes carry a presumption that the defendant will be detained pending trial, Baer said.

Nordean’s public defender, Corey Endo, argued that the presumption only applies if the property damaged is valued at more than $1,000, and the government’s complaint didn’t say anything about the value of the damaged property.

Further, she said, Nordean has no criminal history; the counter-protester Nordean decked in Portland had first attacked him with some sort of rod; and on Alex Jones’ show he said he did not believe in using violence against those with other political views.

As for the passport by the bed, Endo said, it merely belonged to the ex-boyfriend of Nordean’s wife, who left it at the home with other possessions after they split up. The person pictured in the passport didn’t resemble Nordean except that they’re both white men, she said.

More in News

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual Shipwrights Regatta on Port Townsend Bay on Saturday. More of a fun event than a sailing competition, awards are given out during a pizza party afterward for the most navigationally challenged (Directional Helmet trophy) and for the “saltiest” boat and crew. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Shipwrights Regatta

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual… Continue reading

The City of Sequim hosts 13 manufactured home/mobile home parks with 596 existing units and 786 approved dwelling units. City staff continue to look into zoning options that could protect these sites from redevelopment to help protect affordable housing options in the city. (City of Sequim)
Sequim extends its mobile home moratorium

City staff to work preserving manufactured housing option

Olympic Medical Center chief outlines efforts at improvements

Decreased number of travelers among them

Jay and Trudi Inslee wear red for #WearRedDay to support women’s heart health in 2022. (Jay Inslee)
Gov. Inslee reflects in his final year of three terms

On the second level of the white and gray marbled… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer as coworker Robert Bufford prepares to secure the load as the pair prepares to open the parking lot at Port Angeles City Pier to automobiles on Friday. The work was part of a project to improve storm drainage, replace damaged sidewalks and ADA ramps and mitigate shoreline erosion around the lot, which had been closed since early January. Tree replacement and other project detail work is expected to follow over the next few weeks.
City Pier parking open

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer… Continue reading

Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored

EYE ON THE PENINSULA: Broadband, public health before county boards

Government meetings across North Olympic Peninsula

A pair of Clallam Transit buses sit at The Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles in preparation for their fixed-route runs on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Clallam Transit sees large rise in ridership

No issues seen with new zero-fare policy

Plans move ahead for Quilcene skate park

Jefferson County, volunteers seek grants

Peninsula College Foundation reports record levels of giving

Programs, students both recipients of funds

County to repave section of Carlsborg Road

Clallam County commissioners will consider awarding a contract for… Continue reading

A paving crew from Lakeside Industries replaces pavement on the Waterfront Trail and the entrance to the Port Angeles City Pier parking lot on Wednesday as part of a project to improve sidewalks and storm water drainage around the site. The project is expected to be substantially completed and the parking lot reopened by mid-March. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles City Pier

A paving crew from Lakeside Industries replaces pavement on the Waterfront Trail… Continue reading