An active-duty U.S. Marine officer was arrested for his alleged role in the riots at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. Major Christopher Warnagiris is the first active-duty member of the armed services to be charged in connection with the insurrection attempt.
Prosecutors said that Warnagiris was the first person to push his way through the East Rotunda doors and enter the Capitol Building. Once inside, he struggled with a police officer, who was trying to close the door.
The FBI released photos of Warnagiris inside the Capitol Building and received a tip about his identity from a former co-worker.
Warnagiris was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, obstruction of law enforcement, obstruction of Congress, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, and entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority. He faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
According to CNBC, Warnagiris has been in the military for 18 years and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently stationed at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is assigned to the training and education command of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Staff Training Program.
The Marines issued a statement following the announcement of the charges.
"The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values."
"Participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isn't tolerated by the Marine Corps," the statement continued. "We expect every Marine to treat their fellow Marines with dignity and respect. Those who can't value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks."
Photo: Department of Justice