'Camp Auschwitz' rioter, several police officers arrested, charged in Capitol siege

Police in Washington
(Image credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Federal authorities announced charges Wednesday for several people who allegedly participated in last weeks siege of the U.S. Capitol. Among those charged was Robert Keith Packer, 56, of Newport News, Virginia, identified as the man wearing a neo-Nazi "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt at the riot, and several police officers.

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Packer was released on his own recognizance Wednesday afternoon and ordered to stay out of Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports. Officers Thomas Robertson, 47, and Jacob Fracker, 29, of Virginia's Rocky Mount Police Department were arrested, charged, and put on administrative leave. In a since-deleted Facebook post, Robertson reportedly wrote that "CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government," adding, "The right IN ONE DAY took the f---ing U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us."

At least 28 active duty law enforcement officers from 12 states have been identified as having participated in the Capitol occupation, according to a tally by The Appeal. Many of those officers have been suspended, including Philadelphia Police detective Jennifer Gugger, an apparent QAnon believer who until last week served in the department's Recruit Background Investigations Unit.

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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Wednesday that one of his officers, identified as 18-year veteran Tam Dinh Pham, was on administrative leave after having "penetrated" the Capitol last week, adding, "I can tell you that there's a high probability that this individual will be charged with federal charges, and rightfully so."

The Justice Department so far charged more than 70 people, identified more than 100 others, and plans to prosecute many of the people who stormed the Capitol in "significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy." The FBI is warning about high threats of violence in D.C. and state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Other people charged so far include Olympic gold medal swimmer Klete Keller, filmed in the Capitol wearing his Team USA jacket, and Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., arrested last week with two firearms and about 2,500 rounds of ammunition, including 320 rounds of "armor piercing" bullets. Meredith arrived late to the Capitol siege but texted a friend he planned to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, prosecutors say.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.