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Updated: Austin man charged for alleged involvement in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots

Allegedly bragged about involvement on social media

By Michael Stoll

An Austin man arrested Friday morning by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Austin Police officers has been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol building.

Daniel Johnson, 29, has been charged in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul with entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.

According to the criminal complaint, an individual called the FBI National Threat Operations Center on Jan. 7 to report that Daniel posted a video from inside the U.S. Capitol building during the riot onto his Snapchat account. The caller knew that Johnson had a cellular phone number ending in 8691.

On Jan. 18, another individual submitted a tip through the fbi.gov/uscapitol online portal which included a screenshot of a Facebook comment written by Daniel that stated, “I was one of the first ones inside the capitol building.”

The FBI received another tip on March 1 from an individual who alleged that Daniel and his father, Daryl Johnson of Iowa, were inside the U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riots.

During the investigation, the FBI uncovered videos of Daniel and Daryl inside the U.S. Capitol building. The FBI also reviewed Daniel’s Facebook page, which showed a number of political posts around the time of the riots. In one post, dated Jan. 7, Daniel posted a photograph of the Jan. 6 crowd near the U.S. Capitol building with the caption, “Couple thousand?? Lol try like 4 million people!!! (sic)”

The FBI also found private Facebook messages between Daniel and another individual in which Daniel said, “We stormed capitol hill (sic)” and “Lol Dad and I were one of the first ones inside (sic).” In another message to a friend, Daniel boasted, “I was one of the first ones inside the capitol building.”

A St. Ansgar police officer who knew Daryl Johnson’s father, who was the former mayor of St. Ansgar, and a Mower County deputy who was familiar with Daryl and Daniel helped identify Daryl from photographs taken during the riot. An individual who personally knew Daniel positively identified him in photographs taken inside the U.S. Capitol building during the riots.

Daryl has also been charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.

Daniel’s arrest was announced in a Friday morning tweet by the FBI’s Minneapolis office, stating:

“Daniel Johnson, 29, of Austin, MN was arrested by #FBI Minneapolis special agents and Austin PD this morning on charges relating to criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

 

— Eric Johnson contributed to this story

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