Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Ibrahim became the first member of the federal law enforcement to be charged in connection with the insurgency on Capitol Hill on January 6.
Ibrahim, of Orange County, Calif., Faces felony charges of entering a restricted building and area with a weapon, carrying a gun on the Capitol grounds and lying to investigators in the office of the inspector general.
Although the affidavit states that Ibrahim did not actually enter the Capitol building, the affidavit includes a photo of Ibrahim inside the first set of fences and barricades that surrounded the Capitol before the crowd. bursts out and alleges that Ibrahim was on the Capitol grounds that day.
Through his lawyer, Ibrahim insisted that he had not entered the Capitol and was not involved in any violence. He also allegedly stated that he did not show his DEA badge or firearm during the day’s events; however, the affidavit detailing Ibrahim’s locations and actions that day shows him posing several times with his badge and weapon exposed.
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“Ibrahim played no role in any riot. He has never committed violence, attempted to enter buildings or instigated or encouraged others to do so, ”Darren Richie, Ibrahim’s lawyer, told POLITICO.
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Richie also added that “the indictment is the result of conjecture, political pressure and a mistaken attempt to paint a specific narrative through images taken totally out of context.”
Investigators found several photos of Ibrahim among the pro-Trump crowd on Capitol Hill on Jan.6, including those showing him both his DEA badge and his firearm, which were taken at his request, according to the affidavit. In one of the photos, Ibrahim poses in front of the Capitol holding a flag saying “Liberty or Death” with his badge and gun displayed on his hip.
Ibrahim also sent a photo of himself standing next to one of the barricades that had been breached earlier in a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit. He also mentioned that he then sent to that same discussion group a video of himself on a lawn above the Capitol Visitor Center.
During his interview with investigators, the affidavit indicates that Ibrahim admitted he was on Capitol Hill with a friend who was there to document the event for the FBI. Ibrahim’s friend denied his story, saying he had not received any instructions from the agency.
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The friend told investigators Ibrahim went to the rally to ‘promote himself’ and wanted the rally to be ‘his stage to launch the political podcast and cigar brand’ Liberty Tavern ‘, according to the affidavit. .
At the material time, Ibrahim was a “probationary employee” of the DEA, according to the Office of the Inspector General, and had, weeks before the insurgency, notified the DEA of his intention to resign. He was on personal leave when he attended the January 6 rally.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DEA Agent, First Federal Law Enforcement Officer Charged in Capitol Riot