The retired New York firefighter was charged in reference to the U.S. Capitol riot
According to a criminal complaint filed on Saturday, Thomas Fee was accused of knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or site without legitimate authority and forcible entry and disorderly behavior for Capitol reasons.
Frank Dwyer, a spokesman for the FDNY, confirmed to CNN that Fee has been with the department for 22 years and retired in October.
An unnamed witness, described in a court case as a special agent with the US diplomatic security service, told the federal government’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that his spouse saw a post on Facebook by Fee’s girlfriend saying he was “on.” the rally, “” said the complaint.
According to the file, the anonymous witness Fee wrote a text message and asked if he would attend the rally. Fee allegedly said so and then sent a photo of himself from the Capitol rotunda. The witness initially deleted the photo, but was able to restore it according to the complaint.
The complaint also describes a video charge, allegedly sent to a witness, showing numerous people in the Capitol rotunda “apparently not being present” shouting the words “tyranny” and “pelosi”.
Fee allegedly texted the witness that he was “at the tip of the spear” after sending the video.
According to the federal prosecutor in New York, the charge has not yet been arrested. CNN asked Fee for a comment.
The indictment complements a growing list of charges against participants in the uprising earlier this month, which killed five people and triggered a firestorm in the country’s capital. The Washington, DC prosecutor’s office has already indicted about 100 people in connection with the riot. There are more than 275 open investigations into possible criminal activity as of that day, US attorney Michael Sherwin said on Friday.
Dwyer said in a statement to CNN that the FDNY had been working with law enforcement investigations to investigate allegations of possible involvement of active or retired members in the riot.
“The department received anonymous allegations that active or retired members were present at the January 6th events at the United States Capitol and made this information available to the FBI as needed,” Dwyer said in the statement.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a separate statement last week that while his department “respects the right of all members to take up social and political positions and to provide personal support”, members “act with the utmost discretion and respect for others” and ensure that they are there must that they comply with the law.
“Department members, whether active or retired, must not engage in behavior that tends to discredit the department or disrupt the discipline and order of the department,” the statement said.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.