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Maryland man arrested in U.S. Capitol riots, was placed at scene by GPS monitor required by his probation, FBI says

A Montgomery County man, whom federal authorities described as a ”self-professed white supremacist,” was arrested over the weekend on charges of participating in the riots at the U.S. Capitol, court records show.

Bryan Betancur, 26, who was wearing a GPS monitoring device as part of his probation stemming from a burglary conviction in Maryland, apparently posted photos on social media of him wearing white nationalist apparel and posing with a Confederate battle flag perched atop scaffolding on Capitol grounds, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent.

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Betancur, of Silver Spring, has been charged with participating in unlawful activities on Capitol grounds and disrupting government business in restricted buildings, the affidavit shows.

He is one of at least 10 Maryland residents arrested in the aftermath of the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6.

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On that day, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters attended a rally hosted by the president south of the White House before storming the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results, which Trump falsely claimed to have been fraudulent. Trump’s supporters penetrated barricades and made their way into the Capitol, where lawmakers were evacuated from the chambers and locked down.

Five died people died during the chaos, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer and a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego who’d lived in Annapolis and Southern Maryland.

The riot was rife with extremists and hate-filled displays, and federal agents in part identified Betancur through his T-shirt for the Proud Boys, which authorities describe as an extreme nationalist organization.

“Betancur is a self-professed white supremacist who has made statements to law enforcement officers that he is a member of several white supremacy organizations,” the FBI agent wrote. “Betancur has voiced homicidal ideations, made comments about conducting a school shooting, and researched mass shootings.”

He is on probation following a conviction for fourth-degree burglary in Baltimore County, Maryland online court records show.

Betancur’s probation officer called the FBI two days after the riots, according to the affidavit. Betancur asked for permission to go to Washington to distribute bibles for the evangelical Christian association Gideons International. His agent’s supervisor granted the request. But afterward, Betancur allegedly told his agent he had been on Capitol grounds.

The FBI attached a screenshot of a digital map of Betancur’s movements on the day of the riots, which was tracked by his GPS monitor. The image showed a green dot representing Betancur on the grounds outside of the Capitol. He also posted pictures of himself at the riot and flashing white supremacist hand gestures on social media accounts, according to the affidavit.

It’s unclear if Betancur is being represented by an attorney. A lawyer who represented him at his arraignment Monday in Washington, D.C. Superior Court, said she was a stand-in attorney for that proceeding only. She said his case was moving to the U.S. District Court, though it does not yet appear in online federal court records.

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