Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced new charges against a Wylie man accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, accusing him of transporting firearms with the intent of using them in the attack.
Guy Reffitt, 48, previously was charged with obstructing Congress, trespassing on Capitol grounds and witness tampering. He pleaded not guilty.
The new charges were handed up by a grand jury in a superseding indictment and accuse him of taking a rifle and a semi-automatic handgun to Washington.
It's the first time the charge has been filed against an accused Capitol rioter.
Reffitt, who worked in the oil industry, has been in custody since Jan. 19.
"Generally, the government has not been seeking detention for other defendants, who have been charged with the same offenses," Reffitt's attorney wrote in a court filing earlier this year urging his release from jail.
The lawyer, William Welch of Columbia, Maryland, also noted the government has already seized all Reffitt's firearms, and a number of family and friends wrote letters to the judge encouraging his release.
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In separate court filings, prosecutors said Reffitt played a “significant and dangerous role” in the attack and was at the front of the first group of rioters to challenge a police line trying to secure the Capitol building.
When he returned to Texas, Reffitt told his children they would be traitors if they reported him to law enforcement and that “traitors get shot,” prosecutors said.
The FBI interviewed two Capitol police officers who repelled Reffitt’s attack, which was partially captured on video, prosecutors said.
The officers said Reffitt appeared to lead a group of at least 50 rioters and advanced up some stairs, alone, directly towards them, making statements like, “You can’t stop us all,” according to the government.
Agents also obtained what they described as a nearly two-hour Zoom video in which Reffitt spoke with members of a militia group known as the Three Percenters on the night of Jan. 10 – four days after the riot.
“I said, ‘Well I’m not done til we drag them out screaming and kicking. I don’t care if (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi’s head is hitting every step while I drag her by her ankles – she’s coming out,” Reffitt said, according to the government filing.
In the video, Reffitt also described an encounter with a U.S. Capitol officer, according to prosecutors.
“She was going, ‘No, no, no! Go back! Go back!’ And I grabbed a megaphone and I said, ‘This is our house. You need to stand down or you’re gonna get tried for treason,” Reffitt said.
Reffitt said the officer fired clay pellets but they bounced off his bulletproof vest.
“I looked at her and said, ‘Sorry, darling. You better get a bigger damn gun,’” Reffitt said, according to prosecutors.
Reffitt also laid out a plan to attack “mainstream media,” “Silicon Valley” and “Big Tech,” prosecutors argued in an effort to keep him behind bars.
He discussed attacking a social media company’s servers in a “nearby Texas town,” claiming its backup generators could be knocked out with a “sniper’s rifle,” prosecutors said.
The judge denied Reffitt’s motion to be released.