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New Jersey reservist, with Navy base clearance, charged in connection to deadly Capitol riot

The "avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer" took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection, federal authorities said.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan.  6, 2021.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

An Army reservist, who has "secret" clearance to a cache of military supplies, was criminally charged for his role in this month's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, officials said.

The charges filed against Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, come as the FBI, fearing insider threats, seeks to vet service members who will be working at Wednesday's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Hale-Cusanelli, 30, is facing five federal charges: Entering a restricted government building, engaging in disorderly conduct to interrupt government business, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, illegal demonstration in a Capitol building and obstructing law enforcement.

The defendant is a U.S. Army reservist who works as a contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle "where he maintains a 'Secret' security clearance and has access to a variety of munitions," according to the criminal complaint written by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent Daniel J. Meyers.

The complaint did not detail what kind of Navy munitions Hale-Cusanelli could accessed or further explain the nature of his "secret" security clearance.

Before he was arrested by FBI agents in New Jersey on Friday, Hale-Cusanelli showed an informant cell phone video that showed him at the riot and inside the building, according to the criminal complaint.

The informant claims that Hale-Cusanelli "is an avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer who posts video opinion statements on YouTube proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints," Meyers wrote.

The informant wore a wire last Tuesday when Hale-Cusanelli "admitted to entering the Capitol and encouraging other members of the mob to 'advance' – giving directions via both voice and hand signals."

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Hale-Cusanelli said that "if they’d had more men they could have taken over the entire building."

Far-right mobs, egged on by President Donald Trump's ongoing lies that fraudulent votes cost him November's election, stormed the Capitol in hopes of disrupting Congress from formally accepting Electoral College results of Biden's clear victory.

It wasn't clear if Hale-Cusanelli had hired an attorney by Monday morning. His parents could not be immediately reached for comment at publicly listed New Jersey phone numbers.