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Brent Holdridge, a 56-year-old Eureka man, has been arrested on federal charges connected with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
According to a returned arrest warrant — find it here — the suspect surrendered to federal authorities in Alameda County yesterday.
Holdridge was previously arrested on several drug-related crimes here in Humboldt County, and had been scheduled to be in jail at the time of the Capitol insurrection.
According to an affidavit from Special Agent Randall Watts of the FBI’s Fortuna field office, Holdridge was initially tied to the riot via cell phone records gathered in its wake. The records showed a device connected with Holdridge’s number entering the building on that day, and traveling up and over a terrace and into the main building.
Afterward, the FBI secured a picture of Holdridge from the local booking system searched through footage from the day and found several images of a person agents suspected to be him.
Agent Watts says he then interviewed the suspect’s probation officer, who told him that Holdridge had been scheduled to go to Humboldt County Jail on a drugs charge out of Arcata on Dec. 5, 2020, but had earlier been given permission to travel to Louisiana to visit his ailing mother. Holdridge didn’t show up for his booking date, and was eventually arrested by the APD in February.
The probation officer identified the person in the Capitol surveillance footage that the FBI had searched as Holdridge, Watts writes, and said that Holdridge had previously admitted to traveling to the District of Columbia for Jan. 6.
According to the affadavit:
During one of his in-person visits with HOLDRIDGE, which occurred on or about July 28, 2021 outside the probation office in Eureka, HOLDRIDGE admitted to being present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. HOLDRIDGE told [the probation officer] he traveled to Washington, D.C. with a friend and was present that day at the U.S. Capitol. HOLDRIDGE stated he was outside the U.S. Capitol and watched the activities from there but did not participate in any illegal activity. During that same conversation, HOLDRIDGE showed Medley multiple photographs (from his cell phone) of his trip to the U.S. Capitol.
Later, Watts met with Holdridge himself at the county probation office. According to the affadavit, the interview went like this:
HOLDRIDGE confirmed that on January 6, 2021, he arrived at the U.S. Capitol from the west side and observed the plastic fencing and barricades set up outside on the Capitol grounds, as well as law enforcement dressed in full riot gear. He stated that when he arrived law enforcement had begun deploying “tear gas” as people were making their way up the Capitol stairs and into the building. He refused to answer whether or not he entered the Capitol building, and stated that he did not steal anything, touch or assault anyone, or damage any property while he was at the Capitol that day.
I showed him an image, taken from U.S. Capitol surveillance video on January 6, 2021, of a man standing on the railing of the staircase to the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol with a flag in his hand. HOLDRIDGE refused to identify anyone in the photo, but stated that he purchased the flag shown in the photo from a vender who was at the “Stop the Steal” rally.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco has charged Holdridge with the following crimes:
- 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1)- Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds;
- 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(2)- Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds;
- 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(D)- Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building;
- 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(G)- Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.
The first two charges each carry a maximum sentence of a year in prison, a $100,000 fine and a year of probation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The latter two carry maximum sentences of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.