A New Jersey man who is a US Navy contractor with “secret” security clearance has been charged with taking part in the US Capitol riot, federal authorities said.
Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, 30 — described as an “avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer” in court papers — allegedly told other pro-Trump rioters to “advance” during the deadly Jan. 6 siege.
He was charged Friday with five federal counts, including: knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority; disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; disrupting the orderly conduct of government business; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building; and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
A US Army reservist, Hale-Cusanelli works at the Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck, where he has access to “a variety of munitions,” according to an affidavit filed in US District Court in Washington, D.C.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service began looking into Hale-Cusanelli after receiving a tip from an informant who said the Colts Neck man had confessed to breaking into the Capitol.
Hale-Cusanelli allegedly showed the informant videos of himself “making harassing and derogatory statements toward Capitol Police officers both inside and outside the Capitol building,” the affidavit states.
In a recorded conversation with the informant on Thursday, Hale-Cusanelli admitted to encouraging other members of the mob to “advance — giving directions via both voice and hand signals,” the court papers allege.
He said that “if they’d had more men they could have taken over the entire building,” the affidavit states.
Hale-Cusanelli also allegedly admitted to taking a flag and flagpole that he’d seen another rioter throw “like a javelin” at a Capitol Police officer.
He said that he wanted to get rid of the flag and flagpole as soon as he could, describing it as a “murder weapon,” the affidavit states.
The informant described Hale-Cusanelli as a white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer known for “proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints,” on a YouTube channel called the “Based Hermes Show” and on other online forums.
“Prior to traveling to the rally and protest on January 6, 2021, Hale-Cusanelli wrote ‘Trust the plan, it’s the final countdown, stay tuned next episode,’ and ‘Trust the plan, major announcement soon,’” the court docs state.
Hale-Cusanelli was arrested Friday. It was unclear whether he had an attorney on Sunday.
According to an Associated Press review, at least 22 current or former members of the US military or law enforcement have been identified as being at or near the riot.