A federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent was arrested Tuesday for allegedly entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, according to court filings.
The agent, Mark Sami Ibrahim of California, didn’t enter the building, according to the court filings (pdf). However, prosecutors said he flashed his badge and a DEA-issued firearm in photos at the scene, entered a restricted area in the Capitol, and climbed on the Peace Memorial near Capitol Hill.
Ibrahim, the first federal law enforcement officer to be arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 incident, was spotted in a photo that was included in the court documents. There, his badge and gun can be seen as he’s holding a flag that reads, “Liberty or Death.”
Ibrahim, prosecutors alleged, “had been participating in a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers” and “posted a photograph of himself standing next to one of the bicycle-style barricades that had been pulled apart by the crowd several minutes earlier.”
The prosecutors added that he confirmed during interviews that he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and said he had his DEA credentials, badge, and firearm with him. The documents also said he was asked to go to the Capitol by a friend.
The FBI, officials said in the filings, accused Ibrahim of going to the rally to instead “promote himself” because he wanted to start a cigar brand and a podcast.
“I had my creds. I had my firearm, and my badge on me … But never exposed … Not that I know of,” he allegedly said, according to the court documents. Prosecutors, however, said that the photos of Ibrahim flashing his badge and gun disprove his comments to investigators.
The documents noted that he was a probationary employee and had given his notice that he would resign from the DEA.
“He was not on duty for the DEA and had no role as a law enforcement officer on the Capitol grounds,” according to the document.
So far, more than 500 people have been arrested in connection to the Capitol breach. Former President Donald Trump, who spoke at a rally before the incident, denied that he incited violence leading up to the incident and has pointed to statements he made that protesters should demonstrate peacefully.
In recent months, lawmakers have raised fed flags about several dozen individuals who are currently being detained in Washington D.C. for their alleged roles in the Capitol breach, arguing that they are being denied due process, are being held in solitary confinement, have been denied medicine, or have allegedly been beaten.
One of them, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times last week that it’s a sign of a two-tiered justice system.
“The two-tier justice system has really become so apparent to anybody that’s paying attention. It is really tragic,” Gohmert said. “But the Justice Department has been able to scare a lot of Republicans and their people that were thinking about coming back to Washington and protesting.”
“And they’re scared to do that because they read and hear about these people being put in jail, who did nothing wrong, some of them—an 18-year-old that gets put in prison and 23 hours a day in solitary, and then after a story came out … and they went to 24 hour lockup.”
A lawyer representing Ibrahim hasn’t responded to a request for comment.