FBI: Texas man’s social media posts from Capitol riot lead to his arrest

National

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Authorities arrested a 22-year-old Texas man who investigators say posted photos and videos on social media that showed him taking part in the U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month.

Nolan Bernard Cooke posted pictures and videos to multiple social media accounts, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. Investigators received several tips that Cooke used a GoPro camera he was wearing around his neck during the insurrection.

The FBI affidavit describes two photos from an account called nolan_cooke3 that appear to show Cooke and a female believed to be his girlfriend.

The FBI also obtained screenshots from TikTok that appear to show a crowd of individuals shoving their way through a group of police officers (likely U.S. Capitol Police) in front of what they believe is the east side of the Capitol.

Law enforcement was able to obtain a driver’s license photo of Cooke that seems to show a resemblance to the social media posts they found.

On Jan. 20, a judge for the Eastern District of Texas authorized a search of Cooke’s premises and vehicle for related evidence. Law enforcement agents executed the warrant the following day and Cooke agreed to be interviewed voluntarily.

Cooke admitted to being at the front of the crowd and pushing officers at the Capitol. He denied entering the building at any time, but confirmed that he filmed the TikTok and that it was him depicted in the Instagram photo.

In the interview with police, Cooke said that he came to the Capitol after seeing a tweet from former President Donald Trump about the rally in Washington, D.C., scheduled for Jan. 6. He said that he went to the Capitol with his girlfriend and a relative because he wanted to be heard.

He faces charges of acts during civil disorder, unlawful activities on Capitol grounds and entering or remaining on restricted buildings or grounds and disorderly or disruptive conduct in or near restricted buildings or grounds, and unlawful activities on Capitol grounds.

He is one of several people arrested in the Eastern District of Texas for involvement in the Capitol riot.


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