WASHINGTON — An organizer for a New Jersey chapter of the Oath Keepers militia group was taken into custody Thursday after he turned himself in on charges related the Capitol riot.
James Breheny, of Woodland Park, New Jersey, faces charges of entering a restricted building or grounds, violent entry or disorderly conduct and impeding an official proceeding.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court, investigators obtained communications showing Breheny assisting in planning a leadership meeting of “multiple patriot groups,” including Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, on January 3 – which Breheny allegedly referred to in a message as “our last chance to organize before the show.” Rhodes is referred to as “Person One” in the affidavit and has not been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
Investigators said a search of Breheny’s phone turned up evidence that, despite his claims to the contrary, he had willingly participated in the mob that entered the Capitol. That evidence allegedly includes texts from Breheny to multiple people saying, “Made it in Brother,” “We breached the door Baby,” and “I breached the Capital [sic] door!”
Afterward, the FBI says, Breheny discussed needing to “clear chats” and was advised by associates to “delete all pictures, messages and get a new phone.”
Investigators say they were able to find a Facebook account under the name “Seamus Evers,” which they say is a pseudonym used by Breheny, that had been deactivated on January 8 and which contained photographs of himself at the riot and statements admitting to being inside the Capitol building.
The Department of Justice said in a statement Thursday that Breheny also participated in an Oath Keepers group chat titled “DC Op: Jan 6 21” on Signal. Other members of that chat have subsequently been indicted as part of a growing conspiracy case involving planning for the Capitol riot – however, as of Thursday, Breheny had not been charged in that conspiracy.
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