A Duluth man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he was one of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.
Jonathan Davis Laurens, 38, faces two charges related to the Jan. 6 incident in Washington D.C., which happened as Congress was convened to certify the Electoral College votes which made President Joe Biden’s election over former President Donald Trump official.
The first charge is listed as knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.
The other charge is listed as entering and remaining on the floor of congress, disorderly conduct in a capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.
“Beginning on or about January 6, 2021, the FBI received at least seven tips from the public regarding an individual later identified as Jonathan Davis Laurens having been inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, including a tip from Complainant-1,” FBI officials wrote in arrest documents. “In a telephone interview on April 16, 2021, Complainant-1 advised the FBI that Laurens had posted about being inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 on his Facebook page, including posts of Laurens made while inside the U.S. Capitol.
“The tips included screenshots of a January 6, 2021 post and related comment thread from Laurens public Facebook account where Laurens admitted to being inside the U.S. Capitol. The screenshots included a photograph Laurens took while inside the U.S. Capitol.”
Arrest documents released by the FBI show Laurens is believed to have entered the Capitol through the Lower Senate Doors at about 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 6 with a “Trump 2020: No More Bull(expletive)” flag as a cape. He then allegedly headed into the crypt of the U.S. Capitol before moving to the Small House Rotunda, through Statuary Hall and to the corridors outside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber as rioters were trying to force their way into the chamber.
The FBI asserted that, at some point, Laurens ended up in the Rayburn Reception Room.
The FBI released a photo of Laurens in front of what arrest documents describe as the “Lansdowne portrait of George Washington on display in the Rayburn Reception Room in the U.S. Capitol.”
The arrest documents show the FBI looked into Laurens’ phone records and determined his phone had been used near a cell site that provided service to “a geographic area that includes the interior of the United States Capitol building” on Jan. 6. FBI agents also used records from Facebook to confirm the phone number was tied to Laurens’ Facebook account.
Agents also went onto Laurens’ Facebook page on April 14 and found posts the Duluth resident created on Jan. 6 that showed him claiming to be in the Capitol building.
“Anyone out here in D.C.,” Laurens asked in a post.
“You’re in D.C.,” someone whose name was redacted by federal officials said in response.
“Yep. In the Capitol building right now,” Laurens said in response.
FBI officials also listed other instances of Laurens making posts on his Facebook page about being in the Capitol building during the riot.
“Individuals commented on the photo on Laurens’ Facebook page to which Laurens occasionally replied,” officials wrote in the arrest documents. “For example, LAURENS posted, ‘we got into the capitol (sic), walked around, chanted some slogans and stuff. A few bad apples were trying to break windows and kick on doors, but most of us put that s--- to bed real fast. We weren’t there to tear s--- up, just disrupt the system. All in all, I had fun! Lol.’”
FBI officials wrote in the arrest documents that Laurens had posted additional photos on his Facebook page that showed a large crowd of people, some of whom were carrying banners, in the crypt of the U.S. Capitol.