FBI says social media posts link man charged in Capitol riot to Memphis

Tennessee

Ronnie Sandlin (FBI)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man traced by investigators to Memphis has been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in Washington, according to a criminal complaint filed in District Court in Washington, D.C.

Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin faces several federal charges after he allegedly entered the Capitol and fought with officers, according to investigators with the FBI.

The FBI says police received tips that contained several videos of a person identified as Sandlin, who said in one of the videos, “we breached the building, we breached the building, into our Capitol.” He also appears to be smoking marijuana in another video published by the New York Post, saying, “Please may I hit that … I am smoking weed. Thank you patriot. We made history in here.”

Surveillance video also shows a person the FBI identifies as Sandlin wrestling with officers and attempting to rip the helmet off a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

The FBI says an investigation led to a phone number in Memphis connected with a person named Ronnie Sandlin. According to the complaint, on Dec. 23, 2020, the user of Facebook account Ronnie.Sandlin posted the following comment:

“Who is going to Washington D.C. on the 6th of January? I’m going to be there to show support for our president and to do my part to stop the steal and stand behind Trump when he decides to cross the rubicon. If you are a patriot I believe it’s your duty to be there. I see it as my civic responsibility. If you’re going comment below or PM me so we can meet up.” The user also posted: “cool man I’m driving from Memphis if you want to join.”

According to Las Vegas station KLAS, Sandlin was arrested Thursday in Las Vegas at the apartment of another Capitol riot suspect.

Earlier this month, Memphis business owner Matthew Bledsoe was arrested in the incident. A federal warrant reveals FBI agents received a tip that Bledsoe was part of the group that entered the Capitol illegally.

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