The FBI on Tuesday arrested a Faribault County man on charges that he participated in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., charged Paul Orta Jr. of Blue Earth with a felony count of obstructing police during a civil disorder and misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
According to the criminal complaint, Orta, 34, went to the FBI field office in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Jan. 25, 2021 and “told the agents that he had seen his picture on the FBI website and that he wanted to do the right thing.”
Orta is expected to make his initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Minnesota on Wednesday. Court records do not list a defense attorney for him.
Investigators say that Orta can be seen on video helping to remove metal barriers outside the Capitol, which allowed rioters to advance toward the building. Orta also allegedly threw an unknown object toward police.
During the 2021 interview with investigators, Orta allegedly explained “that he had gone past the ‘first barrier,’ but that he did not go past the ‘second barrier,’” and denied going inside the Capitol building.
The complaint also alleges that Orta was among four individuals found on a privately-owned school bus “covered in Trump 2020 graffiti” that police in Prince George’s County, Maryland stopped the day before the attack for having expired North Carolina license plates. The four were checked for weapons and released.
A short time later, Metropolitan Police Department officers stopped the same bus in downtown Washington. Orta was still aboard, and police arrested the driver and owner of the bus, who were both from North Carolina, after officers allegedly found a 9mm pistol, a .22 caliber rifle, and ammunition for both weapons. Orta was searched and released following that second traffic stop.
Orta is the 13th Minnesotan to be charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, in which Donald Trump’s supporters rushed into the Capitol in an effort to stop the counting of electoral votes and reverse the former president’s loss to Joe Biden.