GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Gainesville man was arrested in Cumming, Georgia, Friday for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Ronald Loehrke, 30, appeared in federal court and is facing federal charges after investigators said he was one of the demonstrators who overwhelmed a pedestrian gate and broke down barricades to storm the nation's Capitol.
Prosecutors said the Georgia native was among the first to get past several barricades to lead groups into the west side of the building, even shouting "don't back down, patriots!"
Federal investigators said they also have photos and videos of Loehrke getting into a confrontation with police. Evidence shows Loehrke also broke inside a Senate office, a U.S. Department of Justice release reads.
Prosecutors said Loehrke's participation in the insurrection started before Jan. 6, pointing to text messages he shared with a known member of the white supremacist Proud Boys organization while living near Seattle.
Messages reveal Ethan Nordean, a member of the organization, told Loehrke he wanted him on "the front line," a news release reads. Prosecutors said Loehrke responded to the message with "sounds good man," adding that he would bring others with him to the event.
Loehrke is said to have acted alongside James Haffner, a South Dakota man also facing charges for coordinating their actions and storming the Capitol earlier this year.
Federal investigators have filed a criminal complaint against Loehrke, accusing him of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, civil disorder among other charges.
Loehrke is the 17th Georgia charged in connection with the Capitol Breach. Four Georgians have pleaded guilty.