x
Breaking News
More () »

High school classmate turns in Fairfax County man accused of entering Senate chamber

Luke Wessley Bender, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, is facing six counts, including a felony charge that could mean up to 20 years in prison.

WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County, Virginia, man was arrested on six charges Thursday after a high school acquaintance tipped off the FBI about his alleged participation in the Capitol riot on January 6.

According to charging documents unsealed in federal court Friday, Luke Wessley Bender, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, entered the floor of the U.S. Senate Chamber on January 6 and can be seen in photographs standing on the dais near “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley.

Bender faces six counts, including a felony count of obstruction of Congress that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Credit: Department of Justice
Luke Wessley Bender, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, faces six counts in connection with the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

The Justice Department says the FBI received multiple tips about Bender’s alleged participation in the riot, including a screenshot of Bender’s Instagram account from a high school classmate. On his Instagram account, the FBI said it found a video taken from the top of the Capitol building scaffolding on January 6 while a male voice can be heard saying, “We’re storming the Capitol.” The video was captioned: “Today was something special if you were there. It was great to be apart [sic] of it. #trump2020 #trump #dc #capital.”

A sealed criminal complaint for Bender was filed in D.C. District Court on Monday and he was taken into federal custody in Fairfax, Virginia, on Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether he had yet made an initial appearance Friday afternoon.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.