WASHINGTON — Bruno Cua, an 18-year-old from Milton, Georgia, was already dealing with critical fees when he was arrested on Feb. 6 in reference to the riot on the US Capitol a month earlier. He was accused not solely of illegally coming into the Capitol but in addition of assaulting police and of obstructing Congress’s efforts to certify the presidential election, that are felony crimes.But it solely received worse for Cua when a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, returned an indictment 4 days later. On prime of the unique set of fees, the grand jury bumped up misdemeanor counts he’d confronted for coming into the Capitol to felonies, citing proof that he’d carried a “lethal and harmful weapon” — in his case, a baton. The addition of a “weapons enhancement” meant the utmost sentence he confronted for these counts jumped tenfold, from one yr in jail to 10.Cua is one in all a rising variety of defendants charged within the riot seeing their felony counts — and potential jail time — stack up because the investigation presses on. Other defendants solely charged with misdemeanors once they have been arrested at the moment are dealing with felonies post-indictment. Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin in Washington had informed reporters one week after the assault on the Capitol that the early rounds of arrests on misdemeanor fees have been “solely the start,” and promised extra “important fees” as soon as prosecutors took these circumstances earlier than a grand jury. New court docket paperwork in circumstances comparable to Cua’s present how that’s taking form.Of the greater than 230 folks charged to this point, at the very least 70 at the moment are dealing with a minimal of 1 felony depend — the commonest is obstruction of Congress, which has a most penalty of 20 years in jail. More than 30 are charged with assaulting or interfering with legislation enforcement officers, and at the very least 14 are charged with carrying or utilizing a weapon that day. Weapons recognized within the authorities’s court docket filings to this point have included knives, Tasers, a hockey stick, a big steel pipe, baseball bats, fireplace extinguishers, and batons.The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to convey you reliable and related reporting. To assist hold this information free, turn out to be a member.Many extra new circumstances are anticipated. Sherwin final month informed reporters that federal legislation enforcement had opened up greater than 400 topic case recordsdata — a time period that broadly refers to figuring out folks of curiosity — in reference to the investigation. A Justice Department spokesperson informed BuzzFeed News this week that the variety of topic recordsdata was as much as roughly 540.Sherwin additionally beforehand introduced that the Justice Department had shaped particular job forces targeted on constructing circumstances that concerned extra critical felony crimes, together with assaulting legislation enforcement, conspiracy towards the United States and sedition, and assaults on the media. No one has been charged but with seditious conspiracy, a hardly ever invoked felony that additionally has a most penalty of 20 years in jail, or with assaulting members of the press.Prosecutors have introduced 4 conspiracy circumstances, alleging small teams of defendants acted in live performance and in some circumstances preplanned the assault; they’ve left the door open to including extra alleged coconspirators sooner or later. Three of those circumstances contain defendants who prosecutors say are affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group related to violent incidents prior to now, and the fourth includes alleged members of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia group that recruits primarily from present and former members of the army and legislation enforcement.Prosecutors expanded the Oath Keepers conspiracy case this week, from three defendants to 9. The Justice Department introduced on Friday {that a} grand jury had returned a brand new indictment including six extra folks, together with Kelly Meggs, the self-described chief of an Oath Keepers chapter in Florida, and a retired couple from Ohio, Bennie and Sandra Parker. The Parkers allegedly coordinated with a lady charged within the authentic Oath Keepers indictment, Jessica Watkins. Prosecutors quoted textual content messages that Watkins exchanged with Bennie Parker main as much as Jan. 6 the place the 2 mentioned the Parkers becoming a member of the Oath Keepers, planning to journey to Washington, and whether or not to convey weapons. The Parkers’ charging papers additionally included photographs from surveillance footage contained in the Capitol that prosecutors mentioned confirmed Sandra Parker in a line, or “stack,” with Watkins and different Oath Keepers.After the riot, Watkins and Bennie Parker exchanged texts the place they predicted they wouldn’t be arrested, in line with charging papers.Exactly how a lot time these defendants may spend in jail in the event that they’re convicted is determined by plenty of components and is difficult to foretell early on. But these penalties are a technique to perceive how severely federal legislation treats the crimes they’re accused of committing on Jan. 6. It’s one factor to stroll into the Capitol when it’s not allowed, which by itself is a misdemeanor crime with a most sentence of 1 yr in jail. It’s one other factor to enter the Capitol with a objective of obstructing lawmakers from finishing up their official duties — that’s a felony with a most penalty of as much as 20 years in jail.Other defendants who noticed weapons enhancements added as soon as they have been indicted embody Douglas Jensen, an Iowa man seen in movies main a mob that chased US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman contained in the Capitol. Jensen was initially charged with a number of felonies, together with obstructing Congress and assaulting an officer, however no weapon-related offenses. He later admitted that he had a knife on him on the time; a photograph of the knife laid alongside a ruler included within the authorities’s court docket papers confirmed the blade measured 3 inches lengthy.The grand jury returned a seven-count indictment towards Jensen on Feb. 10. He wasn’t charged with utilizing the knife to harm anybody, however the allegation that it was in his pocket meant that two misdemeanor fees — coming into a restricted constructing and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing — turned felonies.If you’ve got a information tip, we’d like to listen to from you. Reach out to us by way of one in all our tip line channels.When Vitali Gossjankowski was arrested on Jan. 18 in Washington, DC, he was charged with carrying a Taser as he illegally entered a restricted space close to an entrance to the Capitol, which meant he was already dealing with a weapons enhancement. But he wasn’t initially charged with really utilizing the Taser towards police. That modified when a grand jury returned an indictment on Feb. 17, including one depend of assaulting a legislation enforcement officer utilizing a lethal or harmful weapon. The assault depend carried a most penalty of eight years in jail, and the weapons enhancement elevated that to twenty years.The conspiracy indictments present how prosecutors are beginning to thread collectively proof from particular person circumstances. William Pepe of Beacon, New York, was arrested on Jan. 12 on misdemeanor fees of illegally coming into the Capitol. Three days later, Dominic Pezzola, who lives a number of hundred miles away in Rochester, New York, was arrested on fees of obstructing Congress, destruction of presidency property, and illegally coming into the Capitol; prosecutors introduced pictures of Pezzola breaking a window utilizing a US Capitol Police riot defend.On Jan. 29, a grand jury returned an 11-count indictment that charged the 2 males along with conspiracy, alleging they have been each members of the Proud Boys. The indictment accused Pepe and Pezzola (who prosecutors mentioned is also called “Spaz” and “Spazzo”) of becoming a member of fellow Proud Boys members in descending on the Capitol. Prosecutors left open the potential for including extra coconspirators later, alleging that Pezzola and Pepe have been a part of a bunch of Proud Boys and different “people recognized and unknown” concerned in toppling steel boundaries that Capitol Police had put as much as block entry to the Capitol grounds and assaulting officers behind that safety perimeter. The FBI mentioned a witness informed them that Pezzola was a part of a bunch that had talked about how they “deliberate to kill each single ‘m-fer’ they will,” together with then–vp Mike Pence “if given the possibility.”Pezzola can also be individually dealing with extra critical counts within the indictment when it comes to jail time; he’s charged with breaking a window into the Capitol, stealing a Capitol Police riot defend, and obstructing Congress, which carry most penalties of 10, 15, and 20 years in jail, respectively. The FBI additionally discovered directions for making weapons and bombs in his house.On Feb. 3, the grand jury returned an indictment alleging one other Proud Boys conspiracy, this time involving Nicholas DeCarlo, who lives in Texas, and Nicholas Ochs, who lives in Hawaii and was described in charging papers as a founding member of the state’s Proud Boys chapter who had a “Proud Boy” tattoo on his proper arm. Like Pezzola and Pepe, DeCarlo and Ochs have been initially charged individually, though prosecutors had famous that they have been collectively on the Capitol.In the indictment, prosecutors alleged the 2 males deliberate upfront to come back to DC to “cease, delay, and hinder” Congress’s certification of the Electoral College votes, and that they raised cash on-line to finance the journey and publicized their itinerary. Once contained in the Capitol, the federal government mentioned they defaced a door within the Capitol by writing the phrases “MURDER THE MEDIA” — DeCarlo and Ochs have claimed they have been on the Capitol as residents journalists on behalf of “MT Media News” — and stole a pair of Capitol Police plastic handcuffs.The third Proud Boys conspiracy includes 4 individuals who prosecutors recognized in movies and pictures heading towards the Capitol after which coming into the constructing with Proud Boys members. The charging papers be aware that Pepe, Ochs, and DeCarlo are seen close to these defendants, however they aren’t all charged collectively.In the newly-expanded Oath Keepers conspiracy case, prosecutors have constructed a lot of the case primarily based on messages that completely different alleged members of the conspiracy exchanged about planning to come back to Washington on Jan. 6. The authorities described Watkins and co-defendant Crowl as shifting towards the Capitol “in an organized and practiced style” whereas sporting tactical gear. Prosecutors additionally cited proof that the defendants have been in communication with each other and different unidentified folks throughout the riot — together with by way of a walkie-talkie app that recorded messages — in addition to after.There are additionally a couple of circumstances the place defendants have been indicted collectively, however aren’t dealing with a conspiracy cost. In one indictment returned on Jan. 29 however solely unsealed this week, the grand jury clustered three defendants who didn’t seem to know one another earlier than Jan. 6 — Michael Lopatic Sr., Jeffrey Sabol, and Peter Stager — however have been all accused of assaulting or interfering with the identical police officer outdoors the Capitol, referred to by the initials “B.M.” Lopatic and Sabol are additionally individually charged with attacking different officers on the scene.