A central Missouri firearms dealer charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot competed in a shooting contest earlier this month, a federal prosecutor told a judge last week.
During a hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tejpal Chawla said prosecutors had just learned that Matthew Loganbill participated in the competition on July 10.
“Based on the information that I have and reviewed from online, Mr. Loganbill posted results of the shooting match on his website and indicated he was one of the participants in that shooting competition,” Chawla told U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey.
The shooting competition, Chawla said, was “inconsistent” with the conditions placed on Loganbill in April when he was released on his own recognizance pending trial.
“And to the extent that he is doing that, we would ask that he be restricted from this point on not to have any firearms...,” Chawla said.
Capitol riot charges
Loganbill, of Versailles, is among 12 Missouri residents charged for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. He was arrested March 29 on federal charges of obstructing a congressional proceeding, unlawfully entering a federal building and disorderly conduct.
According to the charging documents, Loganbill is the owner of a Lake of the Ozarks-area gun store called Tooth and Nail Armory in Gravois Mills. Missouri corporation records show he also has connections to Tooth and Nail Enterprises, which manufactures firearm accessories.
When Loganbill first appeared in court in April, Chawla said, he indicated he had a federal firearms license and needed to be able to move firearms between his two businesses because other employees could not. Chawla said Loganbill was released with the condition that he transport firearms only between those businesses.
But Loganbill argued Friday that he also is a firearms trainer and needs to be able to handle the guns. The recent shooting competition, he said, was part of his firing range business and was held at the range. During those events, he said, he demonstrates how to shoot.
“There’s no way I can train someone in firearms manipulation” without being able to handle the guns, he said.
Loganbill said he didn’t realize that the conditions of his release prohibited him from handling firearms related to his business. He said the business was already suffering and that his wife had started a bed and breakfast to supplement their income because “the government’s taken away my ability to earn a living.”
Harvey said that “training people how to properly use firearms is not a bad thing” but told Loganbill that he “may well be indicted” and at that point would be strictly prohibited from having firearms.
Harvey decided that Loganbill would be allowed to transport guns between his firing range and the gun shop and handle them at the range but no other places.
Loganbill is being represented by a public defender after arguing that he could not get a loan to pay for a private attorney because the FBI confiscated his computer as part of the investigation. He said his bank needs to see his financial records, and he can’t access them because they’re on the computer.
At a July 12 hearing, Harvey said Loganbill appeared to have “a significant asset” in his gun business.
“Why shouldn’t the government get its money back?” the judge asked.
But at a followup hearing the next day, Loganbill’s attorney — assistant federal public defender Cara Halverson — said he told her that he no longer had ownership in the gun business and had transferred it to a family member. That raised questions from the prosecutor.
“I am obviously concerned that he disposed of the asset after he was arrested,” Chawla said, adding that the government may want to follow up on the issue.
Halverson said Loganbill told her he transferred the gun business ownership because he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to possess firearms in the future and wanted to be able to keep the company intact.
At Friday’s hearing, Harvey said he would allow Loganbill to keep Halverson as his attorney.
“Ultimately, the court will have to determine whether or not you are going to have to pay her for the value of her services,” Harvey told Loganbill. “We’ll decide that issue after the case is over.”
Authorities first became aware of Loganbill when two people contacted the FBI’s tip line and said they saw posts on social media indicating that he had participated in the Capitol riot, according to an affidavit filed with his charges.
When contacted, one of the tipsters described Loganbill “as a ‘hot head’ who had grown bitter over the last year because of the negative financial impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the affidavit said. That person provided the FBI with a screenshot of comments made by Loganbill under the name “Tooth and Nail’‘ that indicated that he was involved in the riot.
The tipster also told the FBI that Loganbill “was extremely immersed in the paramilitary lifestyle, viewed himself as a patriot, and likely felt his actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, were justified,” according to the affidavit.
FBI agents interviewed Loganbill on Jan. 13 in Versailles, the document says, and he admitted to traveling to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” pro-Trump rally. He told agents that “he traveled by vehicle with like minded individuals whom he declined to identify.”
Loganbill told the FBI that he was not aware of any plot to storm the Capitol building and said he was accompanied to the Capitol by protesters who were retired military veterans, the affidavit said. Loganbill told agents that he saw protesters fighting with police and then breach the police line. He said police then fired tear gas canisters into the crowd, but protesters continued to surge toward them.
“Loganbill stated that he then ducked behind a storage container and donned a gas mask and helmet that he had brought with him,” the affidavit said. “He claimed he had brought these items to the protest because he was fearful that Antifa would infiltrate the rally/protest.”
Loganbill said after he emerged from behind the storage container, the police line and barricades were gone and he followed protesters into the Capitol building.
He told the FBI that he did not see any signs and no one told him he was entering a restricted area, the affidavit said. He also claimed that police did not tell them to leave and he saw no violence between protesters and police.
“Loganbill also stated he briefly spoke with one of the officers at the U.S. Capitol and told the officer ‘we came peacefully this time,’ but that ‘it would be different if we have to come again, or words to that effect,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit also said that on Dec. 16, Loganbill sent Facebook comments directed to two members of the U.S. Senate, telling them that “the American people are becoming desperate for truth and morality.”
“Politicians who don’t represent that and act for the hearts of the true Americans will be held accountable. Complacency is not an option.”