Capitol stormer who wore ‘I Was There’ shirt to stay in jail

Criminal Law

A federal judge refused Thursday to set bail for a Texas man who was wearing a T-shirt that said, “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021,” when he was arrested on charges he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

U.S. Judge Carl Nichols ordered Garret Miller to remain jailed pending trial, concluding the Dallas man poses a danger to the community.

Miller didn’t give a statement to the law enforcement officers who arrested him at his home two weeks after the riots, prosecutors said. But they noted he was wearing a T-shirt that had a photograph of former President Donald Trump, and it said “Take America Back” and “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021.”

Prosecutors presented a photograph of Miller wearing the shirt during an earlier hearing for his case and cited it in a court filing seeking his pretrial detention.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Kelley said Miller has shown a troubling “lack of respect for any authority.”

“I think it’s safe to say that nobody who entered the Capitol that day showed any respect for authority, so I don’t credit that argument very much,” countered defense attorney F. Clinton Broden. He conceded Miller entered the Capitol that day but said his client didn’t engage in any violence.

On a recorded call immediately after his arrest, Miller told his mother, “I don’t feel that I’ve done anything wrong and now I’m being locked up,” according to prosecutors.

Like many of the more than 300 people facing federal charges in connection with the siege, Miller thoroughly documented and commented on his actions that day in a flurry of social media posts.

After Miller posted a selfie showing himself inside the Capitol building, another Facebook user wrote, “bro you got in?! Nice!” Miller replied, “just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” prosecutors said.

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Nimon Naphaeng, 36, a native and citizen of Thailand, who resided in Wakefield, R.I., was sentenced Monday to 27 months in federal prison for running an immigration fraud scheme that defrauded more than 320 individuals, most of them immigrants, of at least $400,000, and perhaps more than $518,000. The scheme included the unauthorized filing of false asylum applications on behalf of individuals who did not request, nor authorize, the applications.

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