Friday, February 12, 2021

FBI arrests Shelby Township man in connection with Jan. 6 insurrection

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. - ALEX GAKOS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Alex Gakos /
  • Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

A Shelby Township man has been arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, making him the third Michigan resident to be charged in the riot.

James “Jimmy” Mels, 56, faces federal charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct.

A day after the riot, a “mutual known associate” tipped off the FBI that Mels had entered the Capitol building.

In an interview with FBI agents outside of his home on Jan. 25, Mels admitted to entering the Capitol, after saying a “brief prayer,” with the intent of presenting an officer with a copy of the U.S. Constitution, according to the criminal complaint. He also dug his phone out of his pocket and showed agents photos he had taken from inside the Capitol.

click to enlarge Photos on James Mels' phone. - FBI
  • FBI
  • Photos on James Mels' phone.

According to the complaint, Mels said he traveled to the Capitol with 11 other “like minded Patriots” whom he had met on online platforms such as “The Patriot Hour” and “X-22.”

Shortly after Trump won the presidential election in 2016, Mels posted an image on Facebook of President Barack Obama hanging from a noose and said “lets get to work and hang these traitors.”

“Congratulations to all that supported TRUMP," he wrote. "You my friends are winners. Now lets get to work and hang these traitors. Starting at the top? Public hangings in order. Start with this guy IslamaObama.”

Last month, the FBI arrested Michael Joseph Foy, a 30-year-old former Marine from Wixom, on charges of attacking police with a hockey stick during the riot.

A few days earlier, Karl Dresch, who sold right-wing paraphernalia out of his Calumet home, was arrested after photos showed him inside the Capitol.

More than 200 people nationwide have been charged in the riot.

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