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Fifth Arkansan charged in connection with Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack

By: - December 20, 2022 5:20 pm
Brennen Machacek, seen leaving the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, on Monday became the fifth Arkansan arrested for violating the law during the attack on the Capitol. (Video screen grab from FBI affidavit)

Brennen Machacek, seen leaving the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, became the fifth Arkansan arrested for violating the law during the attack on the Capitol. (Video screen grab from FBI affidavit)

A 32-year-old Madison County man was arrested Monday on federal charges connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Brennen Machacek of Hindsville is named in a criminal complaint filed under seal last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was unsealed Monday after his arrest in Fayetteville, according to court documents.

A tipster identified a person seen in a video being escorted out of the Capitol on Jan. 21 as Machacek, according to FBI agent George Handey’s statement of facts filed with the court. Handey is assigned to the FBI’s Little Rock Joint Terrorism Task Force.

 

MACHACEK COMPLAINT 2

 

The tipster told the FBI that he served with Machacek in the military and provided copies of Facebook posts “that indicate that Machacek was inside the U.S. Capitol building during the riot on January 6,2021,” the affidavit says.

“The video shows that the person the witness identified as Machacek was screaming when he exited” the Capitol, the affidavit adds.

Handey writes that he identified Machacek in other Capitol security videos that show him entering the building through a window next to the Senate wing door, milling about with others who broke into the Capitol and leaving through the Memorial Door.

The affidavit notes that investigators determined via a search warrant that Machacek’s cell phone was used in or near the Capitol during the riot.

The criminal complaint accuses Machacek of the knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

The statement of facts accompanying the criminal complaint says that an attorney for Machacek contacted the FBI in April last year to say that he would not provide a statement.

The other Arkansans who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack are:

  • Jon Mott of Flippin, who pleaded guilty to a single count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. He is awaiting sentencing.
  • Robert Snow of Heber Springs, who was sentenced to probation after a plea bargain on one count of parading in the Capitol.
  • Peter Stager of Conway, who has a hearing set for Feb. 16 after reaching a plea deal on a charge of striking a police officer.
  • Richard “Bigo” Barnett of Gravette, who is awaiting trial, set for Jan. 9, on several charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon along with charges similar to those filed against Machacek. Barnett was seen in video with his feet propped on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offices and holding a piece of mail he took from there.

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Sonny Albarado
Sonny Albarado

In his 50-year career, Sonny Albarado has been an investigations editor, a business editor, a city editor, an environmental reporter and a government reporter at newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. Most recently, he retired from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after serving as projects editor for 12 ½ years. He got his start in journalism as editor of the Nicholls Worth, the student newspaper at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973. Nicholls awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2014.

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