FBI arrests January 6 rioter whose photo appeared in a Biden campaign ad

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WASHINGTON — A Jan. 6 rioter was nicknamed the “Blue Plaid Sprayer” and It has been identified He was arrested by online investigators more than two years ago in Oregon on Tuesday and charged with assaulting law enforcement officers with chemical spray while they were protecting the Capitol.

Andy Steven Oliva Lopez, FBI saysHe is the man featured prominently in the photo taken by a Getty photographer that was repeatedly used in news articles in the three years following the Jan. 6 attack. The photo — showing a suspect firing an orange chemical spray while wearing a blue plaid shirt, helmet and wearing a gas mask — recently surfaced in a photo Power point By U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves and also included in advertisement For Joe Biden’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Connected “Discord hunters“He identified the man in 2021 and reported his information to the FBI. To date, his case has been one of hundreds in which a suspect has been identified but not arrested. The statute of limitations expires in less than two years, in early 2026.”

“We have, for example, ‘Blue Plaid Sprayer,’ and it has been identified for, I think, over 700 days.” One investigator told NBC News earlier this month, just before the third anniversary of the attack. “Hopefully we’ll see some action on it soon.”

With the help of facial recognition, online sleuths were able to determine that Blue Plaid Sprayer attended a pro-Trump American Lives Matter event. gathering At the Oregon State Capitol in September 2020. A Twitter account titled “Primal American” that appears to be associated with it posted several pro-Trump messages.

“This will not end,” the account wrote on November 7, 2020, reposting a Trump tweet in which the then-president falsely claimed he “won this election by a wide margin!” The account continued to promote Trump’s tweets in the period leading up to the January 6 attack.

“Across the Rubicon, the hordes are right behind you. #CivilWar2,” the account posted in December 2020, reinforcing another Trump tweet. After the attack, on January 7, 2021, the account retweeted A mail From Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia: “RT if you still support @realDonaldTrump!”

The account also reposted a video from Tucker Carlson promoting “Patriot Purge,” a faux documentary about January 6 that aired on Fox Nation. Before Carlson and Fox News parted ways last year.

Investigators tracked him down. Since the Jan. 6 attack, social media posts showed he worked as a general contractor in the Portland area, regularly posting photos of bathrooms, decks, driveways and fences he was working on. Photos of his adventures since the Jan. 6 attack — including a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, last year — proved particularly disturbing to investigators who believed he should be charged for assaulting officers rather than bragging about his vacations on his public Instagram page.

Oliva Lopez’s arrest comes a day after the FBI arrested a Louisiana man who is now in custody Accused With law enforcement attacked in the lower west tunnel of the Capitol.

More than 1,200 rioters have been arrested since the Capitol attack, and prosecutors have secured indictments of about 900 people on charges ranging from unlawful picketing to seditious conspiracy. the The longest sentence was 22 years in federal prison It went to Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the far-right Proud Boys party.

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