A special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration has been arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot displaying his firearm while waving a flag reading ‘Liberty or Death’.
Mark Sami Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, filmed himself storming the Capitol on January 6 with his gun tucked into his pants, and law enforcement badge on display.
He was arrested on July 20 and charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, entering Capitol grounds with a firearm, and stepping and climbing on statues on Capitol grounds.
Ibrahim was also charged with making false statements after telling authorities he did not display his gun or law enforcement badge – despite photos and video posted to WhatsApp showing him posing with both, and climbing on top of the monuments.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.
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Special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration Mark Sami Ibrahim has been arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot with his firearm and while waving a flag reading ‘Liberty or Death
Mark Sami Ibrahim filmed himself storming the Capitol on January 6 with his gun tucked into his pants, and law enforcement badge on display
He was arrested on July 20 and charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, entering Capitol grounds with a firearm, and stepping and climbing on statues on Capitol grounds
‘I had my creds. I had my firearm, and my badge on me ,’ he told investigators, according to charging documents. ‘But never exposed … Not that I know of.’
The DEA agent was on leave and not acting as law enforcement officer on the day of the riots, according to federal prosecutors.
Ibrahim said he went to the riot with a friend, who he claimed was asked by the FBI to document the event, which the friend denied.
‘According to the friend, Ibrahim crafted this story about how his friend was at the Capitol to assist the FBI and that Ibrahim was there helping him,’ charging documents read.
Mark Sami Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, traveled to the District of Columbia, and participated in the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6
Mark Sami Ibrahim was reportedly on leave from his job at the agency, and was not acting in his official capacity as far-right protesters took the Capitol that day
Ibrahim was also charged with making false statements after telling authorities he did not display his gun or law enforcement badge – despite photos and video posted to WhatsApp showing him posing with both, and climbing on top of the monuments
Instead, the friend allegedly said they were ‘not there in any formal capacity for the FBI and that the FBI was not giving him directions or marching orders.’
He said Ibrahim crafted the story to ‘cover his ass’.
The friend also told prosecutors Ibrahim intended to promote himself at the insurrection to launch ‘a political podcast and cigar brand.’
Ibrahim was suspended from the DEA in March. He had given his notice of intention to resign just a few weeks earlier, according to the Washington Times.
Ibrahim’s attorney Darren Richie told The Independent that his client ‘looks forward to vigorously defending himself against every charge.’
‘The prosecutorial authorities in this case have clearly reached on this indictment with regard to Mr. Ibrahim’s conduct which at all times remained peaceful and docile; there is no evidence or allegations to the contrary,’ he said.
‘Mr. Ibrahim played no role in any riot. He never committed any violence, attempted to enter any buildings nor induced or promoted others to do so. Further, Mr. Ibrahim remained honest and voluntarily cooperative with authorities.’
Richie insisted that indictment was a result of a ‘flawed attempt to paint a specific narrative through pictures taken wholly out of context.’
Ibrahim has previously denied any wrongdoing, telling FOX News in March that he ‘never even set food on the stairs of the Capitol building,’ and tried to document everything with his friend ‘when the crowd began to be hostile toward law enforcement.’
‘I wanted to aid law enforcement that day as best I could,’ he told Tucker Carlson. ‘I really didn’t think anything of it.’
After flying back to Los Angeles, Ibrahim said he was treated ‘like a criminal.’
‘I had my badge and gun taken away from me. I was escorted off the premises to my apartment like a criminal, and I was fired after being suspended for two months, for performance issues.’
‘They got it wrong,” he said of his termination. ‘Me and my brother both served in the Army. I followed him into federal law enforcement. My sister is a Navy veteran. My mom was in the Pentagon on 9/11.’
‘The saddest part about this,’ he added, ‘is I can’t serve my country anymore.’
Ibrahim’s attorney Darren Richie told The Independent that his client ‘looks forward to vigorously defending himself against every charge’
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the riot
The insurrection broke out on January 6 when a group of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol in an effort to prevent lawmakers from certifying the results of the 2020 election
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the riot, including a Florida man who breached the US Senate chamber carrying a ‘Trump 2020’ campaign flag, and who was sentenced on Monday to eight months in prison – the first among hundreds of accused rioters facing prosecution to be incarcerated.
Tampa crane operator Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, apologized and said he was ashamed of his actions on January 6.
Speaking calmly from a prepared statement, he described being caught up in the euphoria as he walked down Washington’s most famous avenue, then followed a crowd of hundreds up Capitol Hill and into the Capitol building.
‘If I had any idea that the protest … would escalate [the way] it did … I would never have ventured farther than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,’ Hodgkins told the judge. He added: ‘This was a foolish decision on my part.’
In this file image from US Capitol Police video, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida, front, stands in the well on the floor of the US Senate on January 6. Hodgkins was sentenced on Monday to eight months in prison
A clean-shaven Hodgkins, left, is seen leaving court on Monday following the sentencing hearing
Prosecutors had asked for Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying in a recent filing that he, ‘like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy’ by forcing lawmakers to temporarily abandon their certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over President Donald Trump and to scramble for shelter from incoming mobs.
Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky said that, while Hodgkins didn’t engage in violence himself, he walked among many who did — in what she called ‘the ransacking of the People’s House.” And as he walked by smashed police barriers, he could see the smoke of tear gas and the chaos ahead of him.
‘What does he do?’ she asked the court. ‘He walks toward it. He doesn’t walk away.’
In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Randolph Moss said that Hodgkins had played a role, if not as significant as others, in one of the worst episodes in American history. Still he chose to give Hodgkins a year less in prison.
‘That was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a protest,’ Moss said. ‘It was … an assault on democracy.’ He added: ‘It left a stain that will remain on us … on the country for years to come.’
Hodgkins’ sentencing could set the bar for punishments of hundreds of other defendants as they decide whether to accept plea deals or go to trial.
He and others are accused of serious crimes but were not indicted, as some others were, for roles in larger conspiracies.
Hodgkins took a selfie in the US Senate after breaching the building while dressed in a ‘Trump 2020’ shirt
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop lesser charges, including entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.
Anna Morgan Lloyd, a 49-year-old from Indiana, was the first of roughly 500 arrested to be sentenced. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and last month was sentenced to three years of probation.
Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property. And prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge.
But prosecutors also noted how he boarded a bus in his hometown of Tampa bound for a January 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protective goggles and latex gloves in a backpack — saying that demonstrated he came to Washington prepared for violence.
Hodgkins remained in the Senate chamber for 15 minutes and snapped a selfie, which later went viral.