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Capitol riot: FBI arrests former Salt Lake City officer

Pro-Trump supporters breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote  January 6. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Pro-Trump supporters breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote  January 6. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

April 2 (UPI) -- Federal agents on Friday arrested a former Salt Lake City police officer on allegations he took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said.

Michael Hardin, of Kaysville, Utah, faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in restricted grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

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The Justice Department said Hardin was one of thousands of former President Donald Trump's supporters who forced entry into the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

An anonymous tipster told the FBI that Hardin told them about his plans to travel to Washington, D.C., and texted them on Jan. 6, "We stormed the Capitol, I am in here now!" according to a statement of facts from the Justice Department. Hardin also texted, "I know you don't like Trump, but He is the rightful President!" and "We will return until we win!"

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A second tipster, who described themselves as a 20-year friend of Hardin, confirmed his identity in multiple photos taken inside the Capitol during the riot. In one photo, Hardin can be seen posing next to a bust of President Abraham Lincoln in the Capitol Crypt. Hardin allegedly sent the photo directly to the tipster.

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The statement of facts said federal investigators also tied Hardin to the Capitol riot through location data on his cellphone.

The FBI has arrested hundreds of people on charges they were involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, which left five people dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

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Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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