First federal law enforcement agent facing felony charges for Capitol riot

·3 min read

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Ibrahim became the first member of federal law enforcement to be charged in connection with the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, is facing felony charges of entering a restricted building and area with a weapon, carrying a firearm on the grounds of the Capitol and lying to investigators from the Office of the Inspector General.

While the affidavit states Ibrahim didn't actually enter the Capitol building, the affidavit includes a photo of Ibrahim inside the first set of fencing and barricades that surrounded the Capitol before the crowd broke through and alleges Ibrahim was on Capitol grounds that day.

Through his attorney, Ibrahim has insisted that he didn’t enter the Capitol and wasn't involved with any violence. He also allegedly said he didn’t display his DEA badge or firearm during the day’s events; however, the affidavit detailing Ibrahim’s locations and actions that day shows him posing several times with his badge and weapon exposed.

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“Ibrahim played no role in any riot. He never committed any violence, attempted to enter any buildings nor induced or promoted others to do so,” Darren Richie, Ibrahim’s attorney, told POLITICO.

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Richie also added that the “indictment results from conjecture, political pressure and a flawed attempt to paint a specific narrative through pictures taken wholly out of context."

Investigators found several photos of Ibrahim among the pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including ones where he displayed both his DEA badge and firearm, which were taken at his request, according to the affidavit. In one of the photos, Ibrahim is posing in front of the Capitol holding a flag saying “Liberty or death” with his badge and firearm displayed on his hip.

Ibrahim also sent a photo of himself standing next to one of the barricades that had been broken through earlier to a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit. It also mentioned that he later sent that same group chat a video of him on a lawn located above the Capitol’s visitor center.

During his interview with investigators, the affidavit states that Ibrahim admitted that he was at the Capitol with a friend who was there to document the event for the FBI. Ibrahim’s friend denied his story, saying he had no instruction from the agency.

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The friend told the investigators that Ibrahim went to the rally to “promote himself” and wanted the rally to be “his stage for launching ‘Liberty Tavern’ political podcast and cigar brand,” according to the affidavit.

At the time of the event, Ibrahim was a “probationary employee” of the DEA, according to the Office of the Inspector General, and had, weeks before the insurrection, given the DEA notice of his intention to resign. He was on personal leave when he attended the rally on Jan. 6.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DEA agent first federal law enforcement agent charged in Capitol riot

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