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FBI says Proud Boy tried to derail Jan. 6 investigating by menacing agent

Barry Bennett Ramey was arrested and accused of pepper-spraying officers at the Capitol, calling a FBI special agent later and reading out the agent's home address.
Barry Bennett Ramey.
Barry Bennett Ramey.via FBI

WASHINGTON — A Florida man has been arrested and accused of pepper-spraying officers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and then making a menacing call to the FBI special agent investigating his role in the riot, law enforcement officials said.

Barry Bennett Ramey, who officials say was affiliated with the Proud Boys, was arrested Thursday in Florida, according to court records. He is charged with assault on federal law enforcement officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon, obstructing law enforcement, entering or remaining on restricted grounds with intent to impede, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence while using or carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon and an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.

According to the FBI affidavit, Ramey called the FBI special agent investigating his case this month and read the agent's home address aloud. He then texted the agent's former vehicle identification number, according to the affidavit.

The FBI affidavit, which also cites "information FBI Miami obtained from multiple confidential human sources," says Ramey "was listed on a master list of Proud Boys members in Southern Florida."

The Proud Boys are a group of Trump supporters who describe themselves as “Western Chauvinists” and have a record of attending events where violence erupts. President Donald Trump, asked during the 2020 campaign about the group’s support for him, told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the Proud Boys, has been charged in federal court in connection with planning the attack.

Two officers were hit on Jan. 6 with a spray that they said left them disoriented and temporarily blinded as they tried to block the mob supporting Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election from storming the Capitol.

Court records indicate that the same FBI special agent who authorities say was threatened executed Ramey's arrest warrant Thursday morning in Plantation, Florida. Ramey will make his initial appearance in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Friday. Court records do not yet list an attorney for him.

The FBI has made nearly 800 arrests in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and more than 250 defendants have pleaded guilty. Three Jan. 6 defendants have been found guilty at jury trials, including an Ohio man who claimed he was "following presidential orders" when he stormed the Capitol and stole a bottle of alcohol and a coat rack.

Barry Bennett Ramey at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to federal authorities.
Barry Bennett Ramey at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to federal authorities.via FBI

As NBC News has reported, hundreds of additional rioters have been identified to the FBI but not yet arrested. The total number of people who could face charges in connection with their actions on Jan. 6 — either because they are accused of unlawfully entering the Capitol or of assaulting law enforcement officers outside — tops 2,500.

Federal authorities unsealed details this week about the arrest of a Jan. 6 defendant who discussed to the riot on a ride-share dashboard camera that an Uber driver turned in to the FBI.