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Former California DEA agent indicted in U.S. Capitol uprising

A former Orange County DEA agent has been charged with participating in the insurgency at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the latest law enforcement member linked to the deadly uprising.

Mark Sami Ibrahim, 33, was arrested Tuesday in Washington, DC, and charged with entering the Capitol compound with a gun and lying to federal law enforcement officials, according to the US Department of Justice. Court documents describe Ibrahim as living in Orange County, and public records suggest he once lived in Anaheim.

Several photos show Ibrahim posing with his Drug Enforcement Administration badge and gun on his hip as he stands among others holding up pro-Trump banners, according to court documents released Tuesday.

A wide range of extremists – including members of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters – joined hundreds of former President Trump’s most ardent supporters on January 6 in storming the Capitol in the goal of stopping President Biden’s election certification after Trump has spent months promoting unfounded allegations of electoral theft. More than 150 officers reported injuries, some permanent, and three officers died as a result of the melee.

It is not known if Ibrahim actually entered Capitol Hill, but photos and cellphone recordings confirm the DEA agent was well beyond the barricades demolished by Trump supporters.

In one photo, Ibrahim can be seen smiling, his hand resting on his gun, standing next to a man holding an American flag and pitchfork.

Ibrahim had announced his intention to resign from the DEA several weeks before the insurgency and was on personal leave at the time of the riot, according to court documents.

Calls to the DEA for comment were not immediately returned. Ibrahim’s defense attorney Darren Richie called the charges against his client abuse.

“Mr. Ibrahim did not play any role in any riot. He never committed violence, attempted to enter buildings or instigated or encouraged others to do so. Moreover, Mr. Ibrahim remained honest and willingly cooperative with the authorities. Mr. Ibrahim has devoted his entire life, with perfection, to serving this country and its citizens, whether through his military or police capabilities, ”Richie wrote in an e- mail to The Times. “This indictment is the result of conjecture, political pressure and a mistaken attempt to paint a specific narrative through images taken totally out of context.”

In late March, Ibrahim told Fox News host Tucker Carlson he was fired by the DEA and claimed he witnessed the riot alongside his brother, an FBI agent. Ibrahim had also been involved in a group conversation with at least five other law enforcement officers on the day of the insurgency, according to court documents.

After Ibrahim started posting photos that day, one of the other officers sent an alarmed message in the group chat.

“Question mark, are you carrying your service weapon and badge / creds?” The message asked. “I need to know this brand.”

The court file did not reveal any information about other law enforcement officials with whom Ibrahim may have been in contact that day.

Federal investigators interviewed Ibrahim about a week before he appeared on the Carlson show. In that interview, Ibrahim told investigators he visited Capitol Hill on January 6 at the request of a friend who “was invited by the FBI to document the event.” He denied posing for photos showing his federal law enforcement credentials or his gun.

But in a separate interview, the friend, whose name was not disclosed in court documents, said Ibrahim “designed this story to” cover his butt “” and denied being sent. on Capitol Hill by the FBI.

“According to Ibrahim’s friend, Ibrahim went to the rally to promote himself,” reads an affidavit written by the justice ministry investigator who questioned Ibrahim. “Ibrahim had been thinking about his next move after leaving the DEA and wanted the protests to be his stage to launch a political podcast and cigar brand ‘Liberty Tavern’.”

Ibrahim has been described as a DEA “probation worker”, meaning he had only recently been hired.

Dozens of active and retired military and law enforcement personnel witnessed the riot or were criminally charged in connection with the uprising, raising concerns about the pervasiveness of extremism far-right and belief in conspiracy theories in police circles. Several Los Angeles police officers and sheriff’s deputies also attended the riot, but none were charged with criminal charges.

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