LYNNWOOD — Two Lynnwood men were arrested Wednesday on federal charges in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Federal prosecutors say Tucker Weston and Jesse Watson were two of hundreds who stormed the Capitol based on debunked claims of a “stolen” election. The mob supporting then-President Donald Trump tried to halt the presidential election certification process.
Weston, 34, faces allegations of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, as well as interfering with officers during civil disorder, both felonies. He’s also charged with multiple misdemeanors.
Watson, 33, faces charges of entering a restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
On Wednesday, the two men made initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle. They were released pending proceedings in the nation’s capital.
Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Weston declined to comment. Asked about the charges, he said, “How did you find about them?”
On Jan. 4, 2021, Watson and Weston flew from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Dulles International Airport, just outside Washington D.C., airline records reportedly show. From Jan. 5 to 7, Watson and Weston stayed at a hotel less than 3 miles from the U.S. Capitol, according to the charges filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington D.C.
The FBI received a tip identifying Weston, who wore a red Trump beanie, in a photo from the insurrection, the new charges say.
Weston also identified himself by name that day, saying into a handheld radio, “That’s affirmative. Jesse, this is Tucker,” as featured at the 7 minute and 51 second mark of The New York Times documentary, “Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol.”
Numerous photos and videos reportedly showed Weston and Watson outside and inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Federal prosecutors allege the men illegally entered the Capitol building and moved separately for much of the day.
On Jan. 6, 2021, metal barricades and fences were placed around the U.S. Capitol to keep the public from disrupting the election certification proceedings happening inside. A mob overran the line of officers guarding the barricades and dismantled them. Federal agents allege Weston can be seen in a photo participating in the riot.
Weston can reportedly later be seen on restricted grounds on the west front of the Capitol. The Lynnwood man stood at the front there with a group of rioters who pulled down a barricade. They proceeded to the Capitol building. As the barricade was pulled down, Weston turned to the rest of the mob and celebrated with two fingers lifted from each hand.
As they advanced to the building, the mob confronted police officers, according to the charges. In the confrontation, Weston allegedly shoved officers.
Video reportedly depicts Watson with Weston near the Capitol. But for most of the day, they were separated. In fact, phone records show Watson trying repeatedly to contact his roommate on the afternoon of the insurrection.
At about 3:09 p.m. local time, Watson can be seen on security footage entering the Capitol through the Senate wing door, according to court papers. While doing so, he appeared to be filming with his cell phone.
Watson then walked to the crypt in the Capitol. While there, he tried to help another rioter hang a blue “TRUMP” banner on a pillar. When police approached them, Watson placed the banner on a piece of tape on the pillar and walked away, according to the charges.
About 12 minutes after entering, Watson left the building through a broken window, according to the allegations penned by a FBI special agent.
Records show Watson’s email account through Google was connected to services in and around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, from about 2:04 p.m. local time to 4:16 p.m., according to court documents. The data was consistent with his movements shown on photos that day.
Google records also indicated Watson opened a map with various event locations in Washington D.C. They included “Stop the steal 10am”, “march on congress 11am” and “Joint session (the count) 1pm,” the charges allege.
At about 3:14 p.m., security footage showed Weston entering the Capitol through a broken window next to the Senate wing door, where Watson reportedly made his way inside. Weston paused in the window and appeared to begin filming. Later, he appeared to be smiling and taking selfies, according to court papers.
After briefly staying in the Capitol, Weston reportedly exited through the Senate Wing Door.
At about 3:49 p.m., the two Lynnwood men could be seen walking together outside the building, the charges say. Nearly an hour later, they were still outside. Public video also depicts Weston kicking media equipment near the Capitol.
A warrant for the arrests of Weston and Watson were issued this week. On Wednesday, they were arrested in Lynnwood.
The Lynnwood men are not the first people from Snohomish County to be charged with unlawful conduct in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Daniel Lyons Scott, a Proud Boy with ties to Arlington, faces nine federal charges for allegedly instigating violence that day. That case remains active.
Prosecutors have charged about 900 people in the insurrection. Hundreds have pleaded guilty. In-custody sentences have ranged from a few days in jail to a decade in prison.
In 2006, Snohomish County prosecutors charged Watson, then 17, with lighting a car on fire in Lynnwood and walking away. At the time, investigators asked him why he did it.
“It just seemed like the thing to do,” Watson responded, according to court records.
He pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree arson. A Snohomish County Superior Court judge vacated the conviction when Watson met the requirements of a deferred prosecution.
In 2017, a judge granted Watson’s petition to restore his gun rights after that felony conviction as a child.
Seattle-based attorney Michele Shaw was appointed as Watson’s lawyer in the federal case. She didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Court records show federal public defender Dennis Carroll was appointed as Weston’s lawyer. Carroll declined to comment, noting Weston will be assigned an attorney in Washington D.C. to represent him in the case there.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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