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Capitol Building Riot: Local Man Among 24 People Charged Over Mayhem

Wed., Jan. 6, pro-Trump riot at the Capitol
Wed., Jan. 6, pro-Trump riot at the Capitol Photo Credit:

A Western Massachusetts man is among the first people likely to be prosecuted for their participation in Wednesday’s siege on the Capitol Building.

Everyone from Massachusetts who participated in Wednesday’s siege on the Capitol Building will be prosecuted, said U.S. Attorney, Massachusetts, Andrew E. Lelling.

So far, David Lester Ross, 33, of Pittsfield, is the only person from Massachusetts to be charged in connection with the attack, according to D.C. District Superior Court records.

Ross is suspected of entering and attempting to enter the public property - that is the United States Capitol Grounds - without lawful authority and against the will of the U.S. Capitol Police. The charge against him is the unlawful entry of public property, according to court records.

Ross is one of about two dozen people who have so far been charged over the riot.

On Thursday, Jan. 7, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Lelling said that he was “shocked” by the pro-Trump mob’s actions on Wednesday, Jan. 6, as they clashed with police and broke into the building forcing a delay in the formal approval of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

Lelling said the Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and assembly - but that’s not what he saw on Wednesday as events unfolded across news agencies and social media.

“What [the Constitution] does not protect is a violent assault on government institutions,” Lelling said.

“Anyone who traveled from Massachusetts with the intent to commit such crimes will be prosecuted in the District of Massachusetts,” he said in a statement.

On the federal level, acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (who took over when Bill Barr resigned Dec. 15), said that many agencies are investigating Wednesday’s events including the Capitol Police, FBI, ATF, and Metro Police.

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