A Hudson Valley man who was photographed shirtless during the riots at the United States Capitol is facing charges after being identified through social media, where authorities say he boasted about breaching the building during the deadly pro-Trump riots on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
New City resident Christopher M. Kelly was charged this week in US District Court for the District of Columbia with obstruction of congressional proceedings, aiding and abetting, unlawful entry, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
An FBI joint terrorism agent was directed to Kelly’s Facebook page on Saturday, Jan. 9 in the days after the riot, where there was a post from late December that read “When good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Evil, sin and sinful men must be opposed. God commands those who are good, not just to avoid evil but actively oppose it.’ Where will you be on 1/6?,” referencing the planned riot.
The post and a screenshot of someone purported to be Kelly in the Capitol led to a search warrant for his account, which provided investigators with his address, name, e-mail account, and other identifying information.
Further investigation into Kelly’s Facebook account found multiple messages and group messages depicting his plans to drive the approximately 250 miles from New City to Washington DC the day before the riots before returning on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Officials said the investigation also found IP addresses documenting locations consistent with travel from New City, New York to Silver Spring, Maryland, near the Capitol, on Jan. 6, and back to the New York area in the days after.
In other Facebook messages sent during the riot on Jan. 6, Kelly repeatedly kept reporting “we’re in!” to different groups while touting that he was with a former member of the NYPD - reportedly his brother - during the insurrection.
“Enjoy the occasion, hope it all goes to plan. Stay safe, Antifa will be out in force,” one Facebook friend said to Kelly shortly before the riot. Kelly responded with, “No worries, I'll be with ex NYPD and some proud boys. This will be the most historic event of my life.”
Kelly also allegedly sent a photo of himself in the Capitol, to which another Facebook user responded with “Are you inside?!” and, ”Want me to share? I won’t tag you unless you want me to.”
Kelly responded, “Sure spread the word, Taking this back by force now, no more bs.” On the following day, Kelly added to the same message, “One guy (I’m) with got his front teeth knocked out but thats about it.”
Another message from Kelly’s account read “MAGA is here full on. Capitol building is breached.” Minutes later, he added “Tear gas, police, stopped the hearing, they are all headed to the basement,” and, “(expletive) these snakes. Out of OUR HOUSE!”
Other photos shared from Kelly’s account that were identified by prosecutors include one of him holding an American flag outside the Capitol while rioters approach the building and another of him shirtless outside waving a flag.
“That’s me, my brother took it,” Kelly wrote in a different Facebook message of one of the photos.
Prosecutors said that “Kelly’s intent was evidenced by his pre-protest behavior and his statements while he was “unlawfully entering and occupying the U.S. Capitol Building.”
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