Florida pastor and son arrested for storming U.S. Capitol


(U.S. Department of Justice)

(NEXSTAR) – A Florida pastor and his son face charges in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Pastor James “Jim” Cusick Jr. of the Global Outreach Church of Melbourne, and his minister son, Casey Cusick, face charges of entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and violent entry, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. A third man, Global Outreach church member David Lesperance, also faces charges.

Investigators say they first received a tip via telephone in January, followed by an anonymous letter on March 26, alleging that Lesperance and the Cusicks had traveled from Florida to D.C. and participated in the insurrection after listening to former President Trump speak.

The FBI found surveillance footage of the three men among the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol during the riots that left five people dead and roughly 140 law enforcement officers injured.

FBI agents interviewed Lesperance several days after the attack on the Capitol and he admitted that he was at the U.S. Capitol riot with his pastor, who he refused to identify, according to the affidavit. He also confessed to having taken photos and videos that day, but said he later deleted them.

Investigators secured a warrant to search Lesperance’s cellphone and found both historical location data placing him at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as well as photos from his iCloud account that show James and Casey Cusick inside the building, the affidavit states.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she is going to form a special body to investigate circumstances surrounding the attack on the Capitol.

“Jan. 6 was a day of darkness for our country,” Pelosi said, adding that she cannot forgive the “terror and trauma” suffered by members of Congress and their staff.

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