Prosecutors have charged another New Jersey man in connection with the Capitol Riot on Jan 6. — this one an alleged member of the Oath Keepers group who reportedly planned their involvement weeks in advance.
James Breheny of Little Ferry was arrested Thursday on several federal charges for his breach of the U.S. Capitol and attempts to lie to federal officials about his participation and planning.
Federal prosecutors allege Breheny participated in a planning meeting on December 21 in Quarryville, Pennsylvania after he was invited by the head of the Oath Keepers. In the criminal complaint unsealed last week, they claim Breheny held the position of Bergen County Coordinator in the state chapter.
Breheny traveled to Washington D.C. "with a team from NJ" and had "contacts with several militia leaders coming in," according to chat messages detailed in the complaint. He allegedly used a group chat titled "DC Op: Jan 6 21" on the encrypted messaging app Signal.
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Investigators further connected the New Jersey man to the siege through videos posted online. They said Breheny is seen among the mob who clashed with police at the East door of the Capitol building and followed the rioters inside the rotunda.
Federal officials also said that Breheny, on the day of the riot, sent messages from his phone bragging about making it into the U.S. Capitol. A search of his phone revealed messages saying, "I breached the Capitol door!" and "I have to clear chats," according to prosecutors.
Breheny's phone also contained warning messages from contacts that told him to delete all pictures and messages, even advising him to get a new phone. "They're going through social media looking at pictures to try and prosecute anyone in the Capitol building," one message read.
Two days after the riot, officials claim Brehney deactivated his Facebook account. Six days after that, he met with officers and claimed he entered the Capitol unwillingly, telling investigators he forced inside among the siege of rioters. Prosecutors also allege Breheny said he didn't know he wasn't allowed to go inside.
Breheny is facing several federal charges including violent entry, disorderly conduct and destroying evidence. Contact information for his legal representation was not immediately known.
The Department of Justice said approximately 440 people have been charged in relation to the Jan. 6 riot in the four months that have followed the attack on the building. Over 125 of those arrested also face charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.