Aaron Whallon Wolkind awoke in the early morning hours to the sound of more than a dozen Federal Bureau Investigators (FBI) raiding his home. They meant business. The agents arrived with a show of force in an armored vehicle, wearing riot gear, and carrying a battering ram. They swarmed the Newark, Delaware home of the 37-year-old man calling to him via a loudspeaker that he should come out with his hands up.
The FBI has been working relentlessly to investigate the people involved in the January 6 attempted coup. Wolkind’s attorney, Jonathon Moseley, wrote in a court filing that the raid involved the FBI’s attempts to build a case against the Proud Boys’ president, Zach Rehl. The president of the Philadelphia group was arrested in March on charges that were related to the January 6 attack, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The FBI raid on the home of the vice president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys occurred on Friday. They took his computer, phone, and other electronic devices to obtain data about the January 6 attempted coup according to his attorney on Monday.
Wolkind came out and the agents handcuffed him. At that time, they did not arrest him or charge him with any crimes:
‘[Agents] took all of his computer and computer devices and phones, including an old broken phone.’
His girlfriend was also handcuffed but not arrested. Mosely represents both men.
Last March, Rehl was arrested on charges that he “conspired with other leading members of the organization to attack the Capitol.” He has been held in Philadelphia pending his trial.
The attorney filed a motion for bail for Rehl and argued that the raid was just another exercise that showed our government lacked sufficient evidence against Rehl to keep him jailed and denied bail.
The search warrant was written to allow the agents to seize records and information related to people:
‘[who] collaborated, conspired, or assisted [or] communicated about matters. [Including the] legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. [They could] collect clothing items [related to the Proud Boys].’
The offenses shown on the warrant were identical to Rehl’s criminal charges. The attorney claimed that the raid on Wolkind, who is also Rehl’s good friend, indicated there was not enough evidence to actually hold Rehl. He said:
‘The goal was to find evidence they don’t have on Rehl.’
Federal prosecutors have claimed that Rehl was integral to the Proud Boy’s part in the insurrection. Joseph Biggs is another member of the Proud Boys from Florida. Ethan Nordean heralds from Washington state. He is considered the organization’s “de facto leader.”
Agents searched Wolkind’s home and “interrogated” him inside.
‘[Wolkind] refused to say anything without the advice of an attorney.’
Although agents removed all of his electronic devices, he was released. Referring to Wolkind, Moseley said:
‘I think he’s gone camping to let things calm down for a few days.’
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