Minot native Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon has been charged by federal prosecutors with participating in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January.
In court papers, federal prosecutors say that Simon entered the building on the U.S. Senate side at 2:14 p.m. Jan. 6 — while the Senate was still in session — and remained inside for at least half an hour, based on video surveillance footage that shows him inside the Rotunda and the Statuary Hall.
The 30-year-old is charged with knowingly entering a restricted building and with violent entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol.
Simon told the Sun Journal in January he never entered the building, but insisted there was nothing wrong with people he called patriots rushing inside to try to block congressional affirmation of the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president.
Reached by phone Monday, Simon declined to comment on the case.
Simon turned himself in May 5 to the FBI in Gainesville, Georgia, after learning that an arrest warrant had been issued.
More than 440 people have been arrested in the weeks and months following the attack as part of a nationwide sweep by federal authorities to punish participants in a riot that forced Congress to flee and left insurgents in control of much of the Capitol for a time.
Simon, who’s long been active in ultraconservative circles, posted on Facebook after leaving the Capitol that he felt like “I took about 50 bong rips of pepper spray today.”
Among the hashtags he used to call attention to his post were #congressranawayscared and “#theythoughtwewouldent.”
A criminal complaint was filed against Simon last month in the District of Columbia.
The FBI said in a statement justifying the arrest that two unidentified witnesses told federal investigators that Simon posted videos on social media from inside the Capitol, though he later deleted them.
It began looking for him Jan. 14, the statement said, the same day the Sun Journal detailed Simon’s own account of his day.
Simon told the FBI that he didn’t enter the building, but agents found several images from video cameras that appear to depict inside with the rioters “wearing a white and blue baseball hat, a dark green sweatshirt, an olive-green tactical vest, tan gloves, jeans, and boots,” the same clothing he wore in a picture outside later.
Simon attended Poland Regional High School before moving to Georgia and establishing a successful tree removal business.
About the time his marriage began to fall apart, he started making trips to join protests in a number of places with people he considers patriots who stand in opposition to Black Lives Matter activists.
He told the Sun Journal he went to Washington for President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally because he wanted to “show support for the president” and to be ready to counter the antifa demonstrators he thought would try to break up the pro-Trump rally.
“We thought there was going to be a huge antifa presence,” Simon said at the time, but the opposition never showed up — unlike those he insisted loved America enough to make the journey.