A Gainesville man, who authorities say was one of the first to get past the barricades in Washington D.C. during the Jan. 6 electoral vote count, was arrested by the FBI Friday, Dec. 3, in Cumming, according to court documents.
Ronald Loehrke, 30, was charged with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He had his first federal court appearance today in the Northern District of Georgia and was released.
The FBI affidavit said Loehrke lived near Seattle in January and has since moved to Gainesville.
While processing the phone of Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean, another man charged in connection with the events of Jan. 6, law enforcement found messages between him and Loehrke dating back to Dec. 27, 2020.
Loehrke told Nordean he was coming to Washington on Jan. 6, and Nordean said he wanted Loehrke “on the front line” with him, according to the FBI affidavit.
“Loehrke responded with, ‘Sounds good man,’ and indicated that he was bringing three ‘bad mother f------s’ with him,’” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said Loehrke was seen on video footage helping someone over a rail perpendicular to the barricade.
The FBI claimed Loehrke, who was followed by another man, “was one of the first across the trampled barricades.”
Loehrke was also near the front of the line when Capitol Police clad in riot gear formed a demarcation between rioters and the Capitol building.
Loehrke was seen saying, ‘Don’t back down, patriots! The whole f---ing world is watching. Stand the f--- up today!” while rioters were standing outside of the Capitol, according to the FBI affidavit.
“Inside the Capitol, Loehrke was captured on video and numerous still photos including in a confrontation with police and inside Senator (Jeff) Merkley’s office,” according to the affidavit. Merkley is a Democratic senator from Oregon.
A person who spoke to law enforcement identified Loehrke through photographs.
The FBI determined that Loehrke flew Jan. 4 from Seattle to Washington D.C. and returned Jan. 7 to Seattle.