Great Falls man charged for actions during Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol breach
A Montana man was arraigned Jan. 12 on misdemeanor charges, including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Patrick William O’Brien, 54, of Great Falls, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
O’Brien was arrested on Jan. 5, 2023 in Great Falls and had an initial appearance in the District of Montana federal court in a videoconference arraignment.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, O’Brien and his juvenile son were at the U.S. Capitol building after driving for three days from Montana.
A review of video footage from the U.S. Capitol building revealed that O’Brien and his son were inside of the building on Jan. 6, 2021 for about 28 minutes. Specifically, the footage showed O’Brien and his son entered the west side of the U.S. Capitol building through the first floor Senate Wing Door, according to a press release.
The footage showed them entering the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from the south and waving a yellow “Gadsden” flag. Additional video and photos show O’Brien walking through the hallways of the Capitol building, according to court documents.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Salt Lake City Division-Great Falls Resident Agency and the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
“In the two years since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.