In several videos posted online after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last month, a long-haired man with American flag pants is seen standing in the building’s rotunda with what appears to be a self-rolled cigarette in his hand.
“It’s time to smoke weed in here,” the man yells in one of the recordings, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court last week. After lighting up the joint, the man hands out several others to fellow rioters, the complaint said.
On Tuesday, Eduardo Nicolas Alvear Gonzalez — identified in the court documents as the man with the joints in the videos — was arrested by U.S. Marshals at an apartment in Virginia Beach, according to an FBI spokeswoman.
The 32-year-old is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct. He’s being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk and is scheduled to appear remotely Friday at a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
Gonzalez, also known as Nick Alvear and “Lion Nick,” is from Ventura, California, the complaint said.
He rented a place in Alexandria through Airbnb for the month of January and was scheduled to fly back to California on Feb. 1, the document said.
Multiple witnesses reported his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot to the FBI, including a family member. The document did not indicate when he came to Virginia Beach or whether he had been staying with someone.
In one video posted on YouTube titled “Man smoking a doobie weed at capitol dome Donald Trump supporters,” Gonzalez is seen blowing smoke out of his mouth when someone asks “what strain of weed is that?”
In a second video titled “The Capitol Rotunda Doobie Smoker explains why he did it,” Gonzalez is asked why he’s smoking weed in the Capitol. He responds, in part, “freedom,” the complaint said.
The day after the insurrection, Gonzales live streamed a Zoom video that lasted more than an hour. In it, he narrated numerous photos and videos taken in the Capitol building and talks about going in there to “take our country back,” the complaint said. He also talked about how he and others walked around looking for “doors to break in.”
Gonzalez mentions he smoked three joints at a rally held earlier that day during which then-President Donald Trump spoke, and then finding he had eight more once he got to the Capitol, the complaint said. He said he smoked one and handed the rest to fellow rioters.
More than 250 people have been charged in the Capitol insurrection to date, including six who have been arrested and charged locally.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, firstname.lastname@example.org