/  02.12.2021

A California man who was seen smoking marijuana inside the U.S. Capitol during the deadly riots has been arrested in Virginia, reports ABC News.

The remote hearing for Eduardo Nicolas Alvear Gonzalez is scheduled for Friday (Feb. 12) at the U.S. District Court in Norfolk. On Tuesday (Feb. 9), he was arrested and charged with violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.

Gonzalez was caught on video participating in the deadly insurrection that took place on Jan. 6. He wore a sun hat, fanny pack, red, white and blue American flag pants and was seen lighting a joint in the government building.

According to a criminal complaint, Gonzalez yelled, “It’s time to smoke weed in here” while inside the Capitol’s rotunda. In another video, he was asked why he smoked weed in the Capitol, to which he replied, “Freedom.”

The rioter later live-streamed a video on Zoom where he spoke about going to Washington D.C. to “take our country back.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse said Gonzalez uploaded multiple videos online where he spoke about QAnon conspiracy theories, including the belief that celebrities and other elites were conducting a Satanic child sex trafficking cult and sacrificing children.

“This is sheer wild-eyed nonsense,” Bosse said. “But if you believe that, what wouldn’t you do? The defendant was not just there sitting in his basement, absorbing this material. He’s acting on it, amplifying it and rebroadcasting it.”

However, Rodolfo Cejas, Gonzalez’s attorney, argued that it isn’t illegal to believe in conspiracy theories. “It may be strange. It may be a variety of things. It’s not a crime,” he said.

Multiple witnesses, including family members, positively identified Gonzalez to the authorities. A Virginia judge ordered the rioter to remain jailed and transferred to D.C. for his next court hearing. So far, more than 200 men and women have been arrested and charged in connection to the Capitol riots.


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