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South Florida man is found guilty of felony charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack

 Gilbert Fonticoba
Miami Against Fascism
Gilbert Fonticoba

Gilbert Fonticoba, 49, of Hialeah, was a senior member of the Proud Boys who helped destroy a fence and interfered with officers protecting the Capitol.

A Florida man was found guilty in the District of Columbia on Friday, Oct. 6, of two felony charges for his actions during the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

Gilbert Fonticoba, 49, of Hialeah, Florida, was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and civil disorder, both felonies, following a stipulated bench trial before U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Judge Kelly scheduled a sentencing hearing for Jan. 11, 2024.

According to the government’s stipulated evidence, Fonticoba – a member of the “Vice City” chapter of the Proud Boys in Miami since 2019 – was among rioters in a mob that illegally entered the Capitol grounds and Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. He helped destroy a black metal fence holding back the mob, and interfered with officers who were trying to stop the crowd’s advance because he wanted to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote. Many of his actions were documented on video by fellow members of the Proud Boys.

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Fonticoba met a group of approximately 100 members of the Proud Boys near the Washington Monument at 10 a.m. As instructed, Fonticoba did not wear any Proud Boys colors, but underneath his black jacket, Fonticoba wore a distinctive t-shirt that read “ENRIQUE TARRIO DID NOTHING WRONG!”

Shortly after 10 a.m., the group of Proud Boys left the rally and began to march east to the Capitol. Fonticoba remained at or near the front of the marching group with senior Proud Boys leaders. Eventually, the group mustered into a column and surged forward towards a police barricade. Fonticoba was among the first wave of rioters to advance onto the Capitol grounds.

At approximately 12:54 p.m., after crossing trampled police barricades, Fonticoba walked up the Pennsylvania walkway on the restricted grounds of the Capitol with several co-defendants. Joe Biggs, a leader of the Proud Boys, recorded himself and Fonticoba as they advanced toward the Capitol and formed a stack formation to advance to the front of the mob.

Fonticoba and the others were stopped at a waist-high black metal fence that had been bolted into the ground. Law enforcement officers had reformed a police line on the other side of the fence. Law enforcement officers commanded the members of the crowd to stop advancing on the Capitol and disperse. Fonticoba helped pull the fence down. Then, defying officers’ commands to disperse, he continued to advance with the mob to the West Plaza.

As law enforcement struggled to repel the mob, at about 1:21 p.m., Fonticoba and his associates moved from the police line and regrouped on the west lawn. He was among a surge of rioters to move up a flight of concrete stairs. Fonticoba entered the Capitol building with his Proud Boys co-defendants about 2:14 p.m.—less than 90 seconds after the initial breach of the Capitol— through the windows at the Senate Wing Door. Five minutes later, Fonticoba posted on Telegram: “We just stormed the capital [sic].”

Following the riot, Fonticoba regrouped with senior Proud Boys leaders, including Enrique Tarrio, in a Baltimore hotel room.

The FBI arrested Fonticoba on Oct. 26, 2021, in Miami.

The felony obstruction charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami and Washington Field Offices. The U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Copyright 2023 WQCS. To see more, visit WQCS.

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