A paid informant for the FBI has resulted in the arrest of a photographer and Florida man who allegedly took part in the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Complex on Jan. 6.
Michael Aaron Carico stands accused of four relatively minor federal crimes: (1) entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; (2) disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; (3) disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and (4) parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
The informant, referred to in FBI speak as a “Confidential Human Source,” did not know the defendant before Jan. 6, but was there that day to gather evidence eventually provided to law enforcement–including a video that purports to identify Carico’s hands and arms “wearing a camouflage shirt and brown and black gloves, and holding a camera and a stabilizer.”
The CHS also took a photograph that allegedly shows the defendant “taking a photo and wearing a camouflage shirt and a green hat backwards with the word ‘NAVY’ printed on the front.”
“Based on my investigation, I have determined that Carico did not serve in the United States Navy or any other branch of the U.S. military,” the FBI agent who authored the criminal information, and whose name is redacted in the document, clarifies in a footnote.
“CHS has agreed to work as a CHS for the FBI and has received payment from the FBI in that capacity,” another footnote alerts the reader on the same page of the information. “To my knowledge, CHS has never been charged with or convicted of a crime.”
According to the FBI, by way of their informant, Carico told “others” about previously being inside the U.S. Capitol. A video cited by the government allegedly features the defendant providing his Facebook account to a woman who asked him for his profile name.
The CHS scribbled that information down and later came up with an Instagram account that “shows several videos or photos of a person wearing black and brown gloves and camouflage clothing with an American flag patch on his shoulder,” according to the filing.
“This clothing matches that worn by Carico on the U.S. Capitol Grounds,” the FBI goes on to allege. “Another photo from the Instagram account shows Carico with the same camera and camera strap that Carico brought ot the U.S. Capitol Grounds on January 6, 2021, as shown in the video and photo provided by CHS.”
Search warrants for GPS data served against Google also turned up some arguably relevant information for the government’s case–allegedly placing “a mobile device associated with an Gmail address containing Caricos’s first and middle name” partially within the U.S. Capitol building for roughly one-and-a-half hours on Jan. 6.
Video footage from inside the Capitol Rotunda also shows a man identified by the FBI as Carico “wearing a backwards hat, a camouflage shirt with an American flag on the shoulder, and red shoes.” A separate video of admittedly unknown origin or provenance is cited in the criminal complaint which also appears to show Carico wearing the same clothes previously mentioned by the FBI.
Pursuant to the search warrant against the Gmail account, the FBI also obtained photos and videos that appear to show Carico climbing “to the top of the media tower” near the inauguration stage on the western front of the Capitol, the government alleges.
“Another video obtained from the Carico Gmail account is approximately thirty seconds in length and taken from the media tower,” the complaint alleges. “In the video, Carico and [another man] along with others in the crowd, sing or yell the words, ‘the land of the free, and the home of the brave,’ I recognize these words as the closing lines of the Star-Spangled Banner. Carico then looks directly at the camera and says, ‘Hey Nancy, go fuck yourself.'”
[image via U.S. Department of Justice]
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