The Florida connections to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot are many, ranging from people actually convicted of theft and damage during the siege to participation by members of far-right groups deep-rooted in the Sunshine State, like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
Some Florida members of those organizations, known to have a significant number of U.S. military veterans, were seen on camera and have pleaded to crimes and promised to help in the federal investigation.
The main thrust of the riot was the objection to former President Donald Trump’s election defeat. Trump is an official Florida resident.
Here is a list of 10 other facts to know about Floridians’ connections to what happened that day:
10. Florida is the state with the most arrests
Earlier on, Florida was neck-and-neck with Texas in most people arrested in connection to the Capitol riot. But Florida has pulled away. Florida’s 70 arrested residents now has Texas beat by 11 arrests. Pennsylvania is next with 57 arrests and there have been 41 New Yorkers charged.
Immediate aftermath:Deaths, injuries and arrests after pro-Trump rioters breach US Capitol
9. Brevard and Miami-Dade are the counties with the most arrests in Florida
Among Florida counties, Brevard and Miami-Dade had the most residents arrested with seven apiece.
In Brevard County, Kenneth Harrelson of Titusville was arrested in March and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, damage of government property and other crimes in connection to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Reports identify Harrelson as an Army veteran in addition to being a member of the far-right militant Oath Keepers organization. The anti-government militia, founded in 2009, has been tied to the Capitol riots and its founder is also under investigation, according to the Washington Post and New York Times.
In another case, Michael Curzio of Marion County was arrested in his community of Summerfield for the Jan. 6 riot less than two years after he was released from a Florida prison in 2019 after serving an eight-year sentence for attempted murder. Court records from Florida show that he shot the boyfriend of his former girlfriend in a fight at her home.
Authorities wrote in court documents that Curzio was part of a violent white supremacist gang called the Unforgiven when he was behind bars in Florida and has tattoos with Nazi imagery.
Hillsborough, Marion, Orange and Pinellas counties all have six residents each who face criminal prosecution.
Search our database:Everyone charged in the January 6 Capitol riot
8. There is a Florida fugitive who the FBI has not yet caught
Jonathan Daniel Pollock, a North Lakeland resident, wore camouflage after traveling to Washington, D.C., to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Pollock joined the throng who fought through police officers and pushed their way toward the Capitol entrance, according to federal court records.
Pollock is one of only a few of the more than 600 suspects in the Jan. 6 insurrection who remain fugitives. His sister, Olivia Pollock, has been arrested.
The siblings and a cousin, and two friends are grouped in U.S. Department of Justice indictments on a range of charges, including assaults on law enforcement officers. The others have appeared in court and been released on bond.
When FBI agents arrived early on the morning of June 30 at the Pollock family’s property in the Kathleen area, they captured Olivia but didn’t find her brother.
7. A Michael Jackson impersonator from Florida is among those arrested in the Capitol riot
Another Floridian with an Oath Keepers tie, James Beeks of Orlando, joined with a group of Oath Keepers while walking from the Ellipse, where Trump had held a “Stop the Steal” rally, to the Capitol, officials said.
But Beeks’ attire was decidedly different than the others. Beeks was wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket and a black helmet, and he was carrying what appeared to be a homemade black shield, officials said. His YouTube page describes him as “one of the Top Michael Jackson Tribute artists in the US.”
Beeks has also recently been performing in a traveling production of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The documents confirmed that law enforcement “observed him in early November 2021 at performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”
The show was scheduled to perform in Milwaukee this week before traveling to Toronto in December. Beeks portrayed Judas in the production.
6. A vocal coach is accused of attacking a police officer with a flag pole. She is from Florida
Federal authorities say Audre Southard-Rumsey jammed a flag pole against a police sergeant’s chest, forcing him backwards until he fell into a statue, and struck his head on the base.
According to a USA TODAY report, in videos taken inside the Capitol, Southard-Rumsey is seen on camera in the Capitol, and the FBI reported she encountered Capitol Police and said, just before the flag pole incident: “Tell Pelosi we are coming for that bitch.” “There’s a hundred thousand of us, what’s it going to be?” “Last friend, last bullet. What’s it going to be.”
Southard-Rumsey, of Spring Hill, was familiar to an officer in the FBI’s Tampa Field office, after multiple interactions at previous local protests.
5. Man pictured carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern inside the Capitol is a Floridian
Adam Johnson, from Manatee County, was pictured carrying U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, one of the most famous photos from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
He pleaded guilty in November to one charge and was admonished by a federal judge, who also took aim at Trump over his unfounded election fraud claims.
“What concerns me, sir, is that you were gullible enough to come to Washington, D.C., from Florida based on a lie,” Senior District Judge Reggie Walton told Johnson during his plea hearing, Johnson, of Parrish, entered his guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a charge of entering or remaining in a restricted facility. He had not been sentenced.
4. A Proud Boys leader and organizer was arrested and is from Florida
One of the people arrested and seen on camera inside the U.S. Capitol during the riots is Joseph Biggs of Ormond Beach, accused as an organizer who federal prosecutors say directed other members to challenge the Capitol Police.
The Proud Boys strongly supported President Donald Trump. In recent years, the group has increasingly confronted protesters on the left in places like Portland, Oregon, sometimes leading to street fights. The far-right Proud Boys, a self-described “western chauvinist” group, have been active in Florida for years, including at mainstream political events. Several Proud Boys from Florida — and about two dozen total — have been arrested in connection with Jan. 6.
One reason Florida may have a more active Proud Boy contingent is that the group’s national leader, Enrique Tarrio, is from Florida. He was arrested days before the Capitol riot on a weapons charge.
3. A Florida Capitol rioter has the longest jail sentence so far
Robert Scott Palmer was seen on video during some of the day’s most violent fighting, on the Capitol’s lower west terrace. That’s the area where Officer Michael Fanone was attacked and beaten and shocked with a stun gun, and where Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of a stroke the next day, was sprayed with an unknown substance.
In December, Palmer was the first to be sentenced on a charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous or deadly weapon, according to the Justice Department, and drew the longest jail term so far – 63 months.
The Largo man, federal officials said, threw a wooden plank at officers guarding the Capitol’s lower west terrace, then two minutes later was caught on video spraying a fire extinguisher at officers, then throwing the empty canister at them. No specific injuries were tied to the thrown objects.
2. Publix heiress, a part-time Florida resident, swings some of fortune toward groups in Jan. 6 march to Capitol
Julie Jenkins Fancelli, an heiress to the Publix Super Markets fortune, contributed $150,000 to the nonprofit wing of the Republican Attorneys General Association, according to a Washington Post report. That donation might have paid for robocalls promoting the “Stop the Steal” effort by Trump.
Publix Supermarkets are one of the most popular and enduring Florida brands and the company has distanced itself from Fancelli.
Earlier, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets reported that Fancelli gave $300,000 to Women for America First, the organization behind the “Save America” rally. That gathering took place at the Washington Ellipse the morning of Jan. 6, as both houses of Congress prepared to meet and certify the Electoral College results.
“I am a proud conservative and have real concerns associated with election integrity, yet I would never support any violence, particularly the tragic and horrific events that unfolded on January 6th,” Fancelli told The Wall Street Journal.
1. 13 Florida members of the U.S. House and Senate voted against confirmation of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden
After the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and forced Washington into lockdown for hours, Congress renewed the session to vote on the confirmation of the Electoral College’s votes. An objection had already been raised for the electoral votes from Arizona, another was raised for Pennsylvania, and Congress debated and voted on both states. Pence officially declared Biden the winner at 3:41 a.m. EST.
Sen. Rick Scott headlined the group of Florida lawmakers who objected to Biden’s electoral votes. Florida’s other senator, Marco Rubio did not. Other notable objectors included Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Bill Posey. The list sums up all of the Florida delegation’s votes.
This story was compiled from USA TODAY Network reports. Investigative reporter Dinah Voyles Pulver contributed.