WASHINGTON — A former U.S. Marine Corps gunnery sergeant and police lieutenant was arrested Tuesday on multiple charges for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol Building as part of a pro-Trump mob on January 6.
Julio Cesar Chang, of Miami, Florida, was taken into custody on four misdemeanor counts in the Miami suburb of Aventura on Tuesday. Chang is charged with disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building or grounds and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
According to charging documents, the FBI received an anonymous tip on March 31 claiming Chang had posted photos of tickets indicating he had traveled to Washington, D.C., for the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally – along with comments about the “deep state and a “1776 Part 2 Revolution.” The FBI then reviewed his Facebook page and found a number of photographs he had posted appearing to show him in the restricted part of the Capitol grounds on January 6 along with the caption, “The deplorables have taken back our country.”
Chang also allegedly posted a video, which had since been taken down, with the caption, “The beginning of our Second American Revolution.”
Investigators subsequently found footage from inside the Capitol appearing to show Chang entering the building through the Rotunda doors at around 3:00 p.m. The FBI showed screenshots from that footage to a former coworker of Chang’s at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed it was him.
According to Chang’s LinkedIn, he served as a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant from 1985-2004, as well as a lieutenant with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office from 1992-2005. While on the department, Chang claims he was a road patrol lieutenant “responsible for the supervision and training of 200 officers” and a member of the department’s special response team.
Chang’s LinkedIn also lists him as a current PhD candidate for a doctor of philosophy in peace studies and conflict resolution from Nova Southeastern University.
Chang joins a growing list of military veterans and former law enforcement officials charged with participating in the assault on the Capitol – including dozens accused of being members of extremist, anti-government militia groups:
- In June, a federal grand jury indicted six members of a Three Percenters militia from California with allegedly conspiring to bring hatchets and body armor to D.C. to disrupt the joint session of Congress. One of them, Alan Hostetter, is a right-wing activist and former police chief. Hostetter most recently appeared in court to ask a judge to allow him to represent himself – saying he didn’t want a lawyer connected to Skull & Bones, Free Masonry or “any other organizations that require oaths or vows of secrecy.”
- A month later, another police officer Thomas Robertson, of Rocky Mount, Virginia, was ordered back into pretrial detention for allegedly purchasing more than 30 firearms while under federal indictment on his own charges in connection with the Capitol riot. He and another officer, Jacob Fracker, were indicted in January on four counts, including a felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
- Last month, a former officer with the Houston Police Department, Tam Dinh Pham, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Investigators said Pham initially denied to the FBI that he had entered the Capitol, but later admitted he had after the FBI found pictures on his phone he’d failed to properly delete. Dinh is set to be sentenced on December 9. He faces up to 6 months behind bars.
On Tuesday, a member of the Capitol Police Department was arraigned on two felony counts alleging he obstructed justice when he told a Facebook friend to delete evidence showing him inside the Capitol. That officer, Michael Angelo Riley, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether Chang had made an initial appearance before a judge.
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