Ex-government employee charged with submitting false tips alleging coworkers’ involvement in Capitol riot

A former authorities employee was charged this week with submitting false tips about ex-colleagues to the FBI’s tip line investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in line with court docket paperwork unsealed Friday.

Miguel Zapata was arrested Thursday in Chantilly, Virginia, in connection with offering materially false statements to legislation enforcement, in line with an arrest warrant.

Zapata submitted not less than seven nameless tips by way of the FBI’s tip portal from February to April of 2021 that accused former authorities co-workers of enjoying a task in the assault on the Capitol, in line with an FBI affidavit. The affidavit doesn’t establish Zapata’s authorities employment historical past.

The affidavit says that Zapata had used a “web anonymizer” service and notes that the tips had been worded in an identical trend.

FBI information additionally indicated the tips had been traced again to 4 IP addresses, and subscriber info for these IP addresses was assigned to a service supplier account underneath the billing identify of “Mike Zapata,” in line with the affidavit.

The logs cited in the affidavit point out his account used the unidentified service to go to the FBI tip line, to conduct analysis on a few of the individuals he submitted tips on, and for a Google search of the time period “fbi mole.”

Zapata’s false tips alleged that his colleagues, who had been authorities workers and contractors, had been concerned in the Capitol riot and in some circumstances shared categorised info to help the efforts of individuals and teams aiming to overthrow the federal government, the doc says.

“None of the seven government employees and contractors were in Washington, D.C., on January 6 or attacked the Capitol,” the affidavit states, noting that every of the accused individuals was working in Virginia on Jan. 6, 2021.

In one tip on Feb. 16, 2021, Zapata alleged a colleague had attended the Capitol riot and performed an energetic function in main the riot “to hunt for politicians and execute them.” Zapata labored with that particular person from roughly 2017 to 2019, the affidavit says.

In one other tip on April 11, 2021, Zapata alleged {that a} former colleague “provided support to domestic terrorist groups like the OathKeepers, Proud Boys and Boogaloos” and shared categorised info with these teams to help their efforts in overthrowing the federal government, in line with the doc.

An legal professional listed for Zapata and the Justice Department didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Friday night.

More than 1,387 defendants have been charged in connection with the Capitol assault.

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