WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed a count of making false statements to the FBI on Thursday in the case of a former DEA agent charged with multiple counts for being on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.
Mark Ibrahim was indicted in July 2021 on four counts for allegedly illegally carrying a firearm onto Capitol grounds and climbing on a statue during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The indictment included a felony count of making a false statement to the FBI during a March 15, 2021, interview about his presence at the Capitol.
During the interview, Ibrahim reportedly told investigators he did not knowingly expose his firearm and DEA badge while at the Capitol, saying, “I had my creds. I had my firearm and my badge on me… But never exposed… Not that I know of.”
In charging documents, however, the Justice Department said photographs from Jan. 6 show Ibrahim posing with his badge and gun clearly displayed.
“The photographs are of such high resolution that the serrations on the slide of Ibrahim’s DEA firearm are visible,” an FBI senior special agent wrote in a July 6, 2021, affidavit.
According to the DOJ, Ibrahim had given notice to the DEA of his intention to resign and was on personal leave from the agency on Jan. 6. He has since left the agency. Ibrahim is not accused of entering the Capitol on Jan. 6.
In August, Ibrahim’s attorney, Marina Medvin, filed a number of motions seeking to have the charges against Ibrahim dismissed. In her motion to dismiss count four of the indictment – the false statement count – Medvin said there were a number of defects with the charge. Most persuasive to the judge overseeing Ibrahim's case, Medvin argued the D.C. District Court was an improper venue since the March 15 interview was conducted via Zoom while Ibrahim was in California and the investigating agent was in Virginia.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly agreed with Medvin and dismissed the false statement count against Ibrahim. Kelly largely sided with the government on the remaining motions to dismiss – denying a motion to dismiss a felony count of entering and remaining in a restricted grounds with a deadly and dangerous weapon and denying in part a third motion to dismiss a count for unlawfully carrying a firearm on Capitol grounds. Kelly said he would take part of Medvin’s argument on that charge under advisement and issue his ruling on Nov. 30.
Kelly’s decision Thursday was a rare win among defense motions to dismiss charges, which have largely failed in the more than 850 cases now filed in connection with the Capitol riot. Notably, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols dismissed felony counts of obstruction of an official proceeding in multiple defendants’ cases earlier this year. The Justice Department has appealed Nichols’ ruling in those cases, and oral arguments in that appeal were scheduled to be held before the D.C. Circuit Court on Dec. 12.
Ibrahim was next scheduled to appear in before Kelly on Nov. 30 for a status conference and ruling on the remaining motion to dismiss. A trail date for his case had not yet been set.
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