NEW YORK (TBEN) – The FBI and the Department of Justice provided an update Tuesday afternoon on their investigation into last week’s riot on the United States Capitol.
They announced that there had been 70 arrests so far and hundreds more are expected in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday evening, the FBI searched the home of a man in Queens after he allegedly searched for an armed trailer to travel to Washington.
Joint Terrorism Task Force detains Edward Florea, 40, of Middle Village, accused of weapons after allegedly writing online that he was a member of the Proud Boys and wanted to arm people to travel to Washington .
Police say Florea has been on NYPD radar before, TBEN’s Ali Bauman reports.
Earlier today, the son of a Brooklyn judge was also taken into custody at his brother’s home in the borough and a Metro-North worker was arrested, TBEN’s Alice Gainer reported.
WEB EXTRA: Read the criminal complaint (pdf)
The agencies said more than 170 cases have been opened and received more than 100,000 digital documents related to last week’s violence in Washington DC.
“We are looking at significant felony cases related to sedition and conspiracy,” said Acting United States District Attorney Michael Sherwin.
PICTURES: FBI is looking for suspects who stormed the US Capitol
Calling it a 24/7 operation, the FBI and DOJ continue to urge people to give advice and expect hundreds more to be charged.
“We are looking at and treating this as an international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation,” Sherwin said.
MORE: NYPD and FDNY Investigating Member’s Participation in Assault on U.S. Capitol
As for information before January 6, the day of the Capitol riot, Washington post reports that an FBI report was released internally warning of “war” on Capitol Hill.
The advisory highlighted an online discussion thread that read in part, “Congress must hear the glass shattering, the doors smashed, and the blood of their slave soldiers BLM and Pantifa spilled.”
The memo said, “Be violent. Stop calling it a march, rally, or protest. Go there ready for war. We get our president or we die.
“We had no indication that the information was linked to any particular person, but it was an online discussion,” said Steven D’Antuono, the FBI’s Washington field office.
The FBI said the information was shared with all levels of law enforcement.
As for any action taken, the agency said one person had been arrested the night before, while others had stopped their trips.
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Among those arrested on Tuesday was Aaron Mostofsky, 34, of Brooklyn, son of Kings County Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky.
Aaron Mostofsky was seen on cellphone video inside the Capitol dressed in fur skins and wearing a US Capitol Police riot shield and a policeman’s bulletproof vest.
If convicted, the theft of this government property could land him in jail for 10 years.
Aaron Mostofsky faced a federal judge on Tuesday afternoon and was also charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds with the intention of obstructing government operations.
Also Tuesday afternoon, Will Pepe, a worker at Metro-North, was arrested. He was seen in a photo at the Capitol. He had been called to work ill that day and has since been suspended.
“Participation in the riot that resulted in deadly violence on Capitol Hill last week was contrary to the values of the MTA and New Yorkers, and those who attacked this symbol of American democracy disqualified themselves from working for the people of New York. Mr. Pepe is entitled to due process and was suspended last week as part of that process. We are cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies in their investigation and prosecution of those involved, ”Tim Minton, MTA communications director, said in a statement.
Watch Alice Gainer’s report –
Klete Keller, a former US Olympic swimmer, was also reportedly in the crowd, apparently seen in a video wearing his team jacket with “USA” printed on the back.
“It doesn’t matter if it was an intrusion on the Capitol or if someone planted a bomb, you will be charged and you will be found,” Sherwin said.
Senator Chuck Schumer has added his voice to calls from some lawmakers asking the FBI to add anyone who entered the Capitol last week to the “no-fly” list.
“These individuals pose a threat to the homeland as defined by law,” Schumer said.
When asked about it, the FBI said it was investigating.
Schumer also said lawmakers were receiving another safety briefing Tuesday afternoon for inauguration day.
A spokesperson for Judge Shlomo Mostofsky said he had “no comment” on his son’s arrest.
Military troops are now guarding the DC Capitol, and members of Congress were briefed on Tuesday of extremist plots to surround the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court to prevent Democrats from gaining control.
A leaflet is being circulated online and in the streets of New York City, calling for an armed march on all state capitals on January 17.
“They openly advocate violence. This in itself is a crime, ”said Manny Gomez, security expert and former FBI agent. “All municipal and local federal authorities must be ready and on hold, have a plan and have leaders who will implement that plan.”
Cuomo and state police say there will be increased security in the state capital.
Meanwhile, three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus and blame some Republicans who refused to wear locked out masks, even when offered one, during the crisis on Capitol Hill.
“I want them to get away from their stupidity and defiance and arrogance,” Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman of South Jersey told TBEN’s Jessica Layton.
She tweeted on her doctor’s advice, she went to a hospital for treatment with monoclonal antibodies.
Congresswoman Premila Jayapal called on those who “not only cruelly refused to wear a mask, but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.”
Both tested positive after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. TBEN’s Dr Max Gomez says the initial dose provides about 50% protection.
“And it takes at least two weeks to build that immunity significantly,” he said. “It’s perfectly conceivable that she could have gotten COVID from this exposure.”
TBEN’s Alice Gainer, Ali Bauman and Jessica Layton contributed to this report