On Tuesday, 68-year-old Pennsylvania resident Gary Edwards was arrested over his participation in the January rioting at the U.S. Capitol after federal authorities were provided a tip about evidence of Edwards’s involvement that his wife had left on Facebook. For now, he’s apparently been released from custody, but Edwards has been charged with criminal activity including violent entry of Capitol grounds, disorderly conduct and disruption of official business, and he could face up to a year in prison if he’s convicted of the most serious offense, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted.
Lynn Feiler Edwards — Gary’s wife — explicitly wrote on Facebook that her “husband was there inside the Capitol,” adding that there “was a small group of young men dressed in military garb who yelled “we r going in!”” Subsequently, Edwards added, those so-called young men “broke the barricade down, ran up the steps, broke a window and climbed in.” Gary, his wife made clear, entered the building during the rioting. He “walked around the back of the building and climbed the stairs walking right into the rotunda,” she said.
As summarized by the Inquirer, Lynn Feiler Edwards eventually removed her posts from public view, but “an anonymous tipster took a screen shot of the Facebook musings and forwarded them to agents in February,” and federal authorities also “uncovered the social media photos and video and security footage corroborating the Facebook account of his presence during the insurrection.” Besides Gary’s presence in the Capitol rotunda, authorities also uncovered photographic evidence that he entered an office on the Capitol grounds, although it’s not immediately clear what office he was actually in.
Edwards is one of hundreds of participants in the January rioting who have faced criminal charges from federal authorities, although, generally speaking, the trial dates for these defendants don’t appear to be set at present. Some of those who’ve faced charges have been held behind bars ahead of their trials on account of issues like the seriousness of their individually alleged crimes and their potential danger to the community. One rioter who was recently ordered to remain in jail ahead of their trial, for instance, has a criminal history including assault cases.