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Tucson woman arrested for role in U.S. Capitol riot, linked to Proud Boys by feds

Felicia Konold faces conspiracy & civil disorder charges for takevoer of Capitol following Trump rally

A Tucson-area woman and her brother were arrested by FBI agents Thursday, accused of five federal charges including conspiracy and civil disorder connected to the January 6 attack on Congress by Trump supporters.

Felicia Konold and her brother Cory Konold were part of group of five who worked together during the riot, putting themselves at the vanguard of the crowd, prosecutors said.

The group pushed past police barriers, interfered with arrests, and blocked a metal barrier from sealing one of the Capitol's entrances, leaving U.S. Capitol police unable to defend the building against thousands of Trump supporters who stormed into Congress with the aim of undermining the U.S. election, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Along with the Konolds, federal prosecutors also charged William Crestman, Christopher Kuehne, and Louis Enrique Colon, who each arrested in Kansas City, Mo., on the same day, according to a Justice Department website that tracks cases stemming from violent insurrection. The arrests of the Konold siblings was first reported by the Arizona Daily Star.

On January 6, Congress was holding a joint session to formally count the votes of the Electoral College in the November 2020 election. A crowd of thousands who gathered for a rally called by Trump on the National Mall overwhelmed police and smashed their way into the Capitol building, forcing members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, including the Vice President Mike Pence to evacuate. 

During the incident, rioters clashed with police, assaulting 81 members of the Capitol Police and 58 members of the Metropolitan Police Department. One Capitol Police officer was fatally injured, and another had his eye gouged out. Another officer lost fingers. A woman was shot and killed as she attempted to climb through a window to where members of Congress were barricaded near the House chamber.

The bloody incident failed in stopping the vote, which was completed later that day, however, fallout from the event has lead to the second impeachment trial of ex-president Donald Trump.

Two other Arizona residents have been arrested for their role in the January 6 insurrection attempt, including Jacob Angeli, the "Viking" noted for his horned fur hat.

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The FBI identified the Konolds based on photos and videos taken during the riot, as well as social media posts and cellphone location data, court documents said.

Public records indicate Felicia Konold is a resident of the Picture Rocks area.

The FBI's court filings showed that Felicia Konold is linked to the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys, a white nationalist organization known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Created in 2016, the Proud Boys have become inextricably linked to Trump, and worked with other hate groups at the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Just days before the failed insurrection, the Proud Boys attacked a Black church in Washington, D.C.

As the FBI agent wrote in an affidavit, the Proud Boys "sometimes engage in violence against individuals whom they perceive as threats to their values." 

A witness, identified only as W-1, provided a compilation of posts from Felicia Konold's Snapchat to the FBI. Those posts, along with her own Twitter account. In a video posted to Snapchat, Felicia Konold said, "I never could [unintelligible] have imagined having that much of an influence on the events that unfolded today. Dude, people were willing to follow." 

"We fucking did it," she said. 

She also said on Snapchat that she was "recruited into a fucking chapter from Kansas City," and she displayed a two-sided "challenge coin" that the agent wrote "appears to have markings that designate it as belonging to the Kansas City Proud Boys." 

According to the affidavit filed with the court, the agent tracked the movements of Konold and her brother on January 6, showing that before 1 p.m., she was marching with major members of the Proud Boys, including Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean. Later, video shows Chrestman speaking with Nordean. Felicia Konold would spend much of the time during the attack on Congress at Chrestmen's elbow.

Around 1 p.m. that day, the Konolds, along with Chrestman, gathered near the pedestrian entrance to the Capitol grounds, where a waist-high metal barrier separated the crowd from a small number of U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI agent wrote. Within minutes, the crowd "overwhelmed the U.S. Capitol officers," he wrote, toppling metal barricades and advancing forward. "Within minutes, Chrestman, Felicia Konold, and Cory Konold had moved past the barrier and placed themselves at or near the front of the crowd at the next police barrier." 

The agent wrote that the five "not only moved closely to each other in proximity, but also appeared to gesture and communicate to one another both before and while inside the Capitol in an apparent effort to coordinate their efforts."

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The group also carried rolls of fluorescent tape, which they used to mark each other, the agent said. 

While Felicia Konold was dressed in tactical mufti, including a black jacket with a green scarf tied around her neck and a tan baseball cap, Crestman, Kuehne and Colon wore "tactical-style gear, including helmets and gloves," and Chrestman brought a respirator, the agent said.

As the situation accelerated, the group began to remove barriers, and clash with police.

At one point, Chrestman yelled at police officers who were attempting to guard the Capitol, "You shoot and I'll take your fucking ass out," the agent wrote. Chrestman also encouraged other members of the crowd to stop police from arresting a person in the crowd, while Felicia Konold stood beside him. Chrestman, the agent wrote was not only dressed in tactical gear, but was also carrying an axe handle or club that he had hidden with a flag.

Court documents said that during the riot, video footage shows Chrestman turning to face the crowd, and he shouts "Whose house is this?" The crowd responded, "Our house!' Chrestman shouted back, "Do you want your house back?"

Later, the trio and others "used their hands and bodies in an effort to disrupt or dismantle the metal barriers that officers were using to control the crowd." And, finally, when Capitol Police officers tried to lower metal gates to seal off areas of the Capitol, Felicia Konold put her arm in barrier's path, keeping the door from lowering and sealing the Capitol entrance. Chrestman did the same, using a wooden club or axe handle. 

Another member of the Proud Boys blocked the gate with a chair. 

"In my training and experience, the actions of Felicia Konold, Chrestman, Kuenhne, and Colon were intended to and did serve to prevent law enforcement from securing areas of the Capitol against unlawful entrants," the agent wrote. 

Initial appearances for the Konold siblings are scheduled for Friday.

Felicia Konold apparently returned to Tucson after the insurrection at the Capitol. Earlier in February, she filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission to set up a new LLC for an "apothecary and garden" business, and registered a domain name for it. That website was blank on Thursday.

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Court documents

A video clip of Felicia Konold during the attack on Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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