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Long IslandCrime

Feds: Two Long Island men destroyed news media equipment during U.S. Capitol siege

Gabriel Morgan Brown (left) and Zvonimir Joseph Jurlina,

Gabriel Morgan Brown (left) and Zvonimir Joseph Jurlina, both charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6, are shown in federal court documents. Credit: FBI

Federal prosecutors have charged two Long Island men with destroying equipment belonging to the news media outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to newly unsealed court documents.

Gabriel Morgan Brown, 37, of Bayville and Zvonimir Joseph Jurlina, 31, of Bethpage, both face charges including destruction or injury to buildings or property and committing an act of violence on the grounds of the Capitol, according to criminal complaints filed in late June.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation identified Brown and Jurlina using videos the defendants each separately recorded that day and posted on social media, the complaints said. The complaints did not allege the two know each other.

Brown and Jurlina, according to the complaints, were on the northeast side of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 among a large crowd of people when they kicked and stomped on equipment that was in a designated media staging area and encouraged others to steal and destroy the equipment.

Brown, in a video posted to his YouTube channel, said: "Anything good in there? Yeah, smash that [expletive]" as another man stomped on a case containing media equipment, according to the complaint.

Brown was also captured on an approximately seven-minute video outside the Capitol using a bullhorn to speak: "You stole the Senate from us, you stole the House from us, and now you think you’re going to steal the presidency from us? Let me tell you something — you want to take peaceful revolution away from us? Well you better prepare for [expletive] violent revolution. I don’t want violence. I believe in peaceful resolve. But you’re making it ... impossible for us," the court documents say.

That same day, Brown was interviewed by a Brooklyn-based comedian, who then posted the video interview to Instagram, according to the complaint. Brown told the comedian he was at the Capitol and said he had filmed his journey for his YouTube channel, the complaint said.

"I mean yeah there were people that smashed stuff, and maybe stole stuff," Brown said, according to the complaint. "I’m sure they’ll be prosecuted, or they probably should be."

Jurlina, wearing a red winter hat that read "Trump 45th president" in screenshots attached to the complaint, "incited violent acts" that caused members of the news media to flee the staging area and abandon their equipment, the complaint said. Additionally, Jurlina "assisted in an attempt to set fire" to a pile of abandoned equipment and took a cordless microphone as a souvenir, the complaint said.

Julina livestreamed his time at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a 12-part series posted on YouTube, according to the complaint. At one point in the video, according to prosecutors, Julina said, "Yo, I guess we should loot now, right? This is pretty expensive equipment. I’m thinking maybe I should just grab it up and then go to a pawnshop."

Brown was arrested Monday in Austin, Texas, and Jurlina was arrested Wednesday in Bayville, according to court records. An attorney for Jurlina did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday. An attorney for Brown was not listed in court records.

Bail information was not immediately available. A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday.

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died following injuries they suffered during the siege.

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