By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and JIM MUSTIAN Associated Press
An agent of the Orange County’s off-duty Drug Enforcement Administration flashed his DEA badge and gun outside the US Capitol during the January 6 riots, according to a court filed Tuesday after the agent’s arrest. I posed for the photo.
In a video posted on the Internet, Mark Sami Ibrahim was holding a flag outside the Capitol with the words “free or dead,” officials said.
32-year-old Ibrahim was a DEA probationary employee who was personally on vacation from the Drug Enforcement Administration when he traveled to Washington on January 6. A few weeks before the riot, he announced his intention to resign.
Ibrahim told investigators on January 6 that he had not worked as a law enforcement officer in the Houses of Parliament, but was there after the riots to help a friend who was asked to record the FBI case.
However, a friend denied it, and according to a summary of the case signed by a senior special agent of the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Ibrahim told investigators that he had created a false story to “cover his ass.” Told.
“According to a friend of Ibrahim, Ibrahim went to a rally to promote himself,” wrote the OIG agent. “Ibrahim was thinking about his next move after leaving the DEA, and hoped that the protests would be his stage for launching the” Liberty Tavern “political podcast and cigar brand. I was there. “
Ibrahim admitted to being in the Capitol with relatives and friends on January 6, but officials said he denied displaying or revealing DEA badges and guns there, contrary to photographic evidence. ing.
Ibrahim was arrested in Washington on Tuesday on charges of entering and exiting restricted buildings and grounds with guns and making false statements when he denied displaying badges and guns.
Attorney Darren Ritchie said Ibrahim did not participate in the riots, use violence, or attempt to enter the Capitol that day. He also continued to “honestly and voluntarily cooperate” with the authorities, Ritchie added.
“This prosecution stems from speculation, political pressure, and a flawed attempt to tell a particular story through photographs taken entirely out of context. Ibrahim firmly states that truth is always a priority. I believe, “Ritchie said in a statement.
Magistrate Judge Zia Falki ordered the release of Ibrahim after his first appearance on Tuesday. The prosecutor did not seek his pretrial detention.
A DEA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment on Tuesday.
The DEA refused to say for months whether any of its agents attended the rally, saying it couldn’t comment on “specific personnel issues.”
“If we receive information that an employee is engaged in an illegal activity, DEA’s policy is to promptly refer the case to the appropriate authorities for consideration,” the authorities told the AP in January. Told.
Ibrahim denied the law and told Fox News in March that he “has never even set foot on the steps of the Capitol.” He said he went to a rally with his brother, an FBI agent, who faced “no adverse behavior” for attendance.
“When the crowd began to be hostile to law enforcement, I was law enforcement and I started recording everything,” Ibrahim told host Tucker Carlson, who later said, ” “To help those criminals face justice,” he added, giving the material to the FBI.
“I wanted to help law enforcement as much as I could that day. I wasn’t really thinking about it,” he said.
After returning to Los Angeles, Ibrahim said he was stripped of his badge and gun and “dismissed after being suspended for two months due to performance issues.”
“They made a mistake,” he said of his end. “Both I and my brother served in the Army. I followed him into federal law enforcement. My sister is a Navy veteran. My mother was in the 9/11 Pentagon.”
“The saddest part about this is that I can no longer serve my country,” Ibrahim added.
Finally, in a WhatsApp group chat with five other law enforcement officers, Ibrahim posted a photo of himself standing near a barricade separated by a mob a few minutes ago, OIG agents write. He also posted a video in the chat showing Ashli Babbitt, a woman deadly shot inside the Capitol, being taken from a building to an ambulance by paramedics, the agent said.
Off-duty Orange County DEA agent arrested on Capitol riot charges – Press Enterprise Source link Off-duty Orange County DEA agent arrested on Capitol riot charges – Press Enterprise