A man from Bellmore was arrested Thursday morning by FBI agents on a charge of illegally being part of the mob of former President Donald Trump supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to federal court records.
Justin McAuliffe, 39, a certified public accountant, was the latest person arrested on Long Island as part of a roundup of people across the country who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6.
At one point, the complaint filed in federal court in Central Islip shows a picture of McAuliffe sitting in the office of either an unidentified member of the Senate or the House, and giving what looks like a "V" for victory sign.
In addition, the complaint has a photo of "what appears to be of McAuliffe’s smartphone setting showing he had access to the Wi-Fi at the U.S. Senate, indicating he was close of or inside the Senate offices," court papers say.
The complaint also states that in a conversation on his Facebook account McAuliffe wrote: "yeah I was in one of the offices. Some people were smoking a joint in the room, lol. Cops came in and weee [cq] like. Okay guys really. They didn’t even ask us to leave right away. They let us sit down and hang out and relax."
McAuliffe’s presence was initially tipped off to the FBI by an unidentified person, identified only as Witness One, who sent agents screenshots from McAuliffe’s Facebook page showing him at the Capitol at the day of the breech, according to the complaint.
The complaint said that McAuliffe had deleted his Facebook account after the Capitol riot. But with the screenshots sent by the witness, agents were able to match the pictures on the screen shots with those on McAuliffe’s driver’s license, the complaint said.
Agents were then able to match those pictures of McAuliffe with publicly available pictures on the "Slate" website showing a person who resembled him making the "V" for Victory sign in the Capitol office, the complaint said.
Shortly after, a second person, identified only as Witness Two, sent the FBI a snapshot of his smartphone settings showing McAuliffe had access to the Senate Wi-Fi, as well as the message saying he was inside the Capitol office with the people smoking marijuana, court papers say.
McAuliffe was arrested by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force on a charge of illegally entering a restricted building with the intent to "impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions."
McAuliffe was released on a $50,000 bond at a removal hearing in federal District Court in Central Islip. He is required to show up at a future date at the federal court in Washington, D.C., where cases growing out of the breach of the Capitol are expected to be tried.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died during the siege of the Capitol and hundreds of people have been charged with taking part in the breach.