A former high school classmate helped the FBI track down a Minnesota man who was among the mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
The tipster contacted the FBI a day after the 2021 riot to report that his former high school classmate, Martin James Cudo, 43, of Lakeville, had been involved in the riot, according to court documents seen by The independent.
Mr. Cudo was subsequently arrested and charged with willfully entering or remaining in a prohibited building without lawful entry, disorderly and disruptive behavior in a prohibited building and in a Capitol building, and marching, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
The day after the Capitol riots, the FBI was tipped off by his former classmate about a selfie Mr. Cudo took inside the Capitol building that he posted on social media, the complaint said.
The FBI later received more information from another person who said he was Mr. Cudo's employer, who also identified him in photographs from the day of the riots.
Mr. Cudo was interviewed by the FBI a week after the riots, the document says, after he was identified in intelligence and confessed to being at the riots and “realized the trouble he might be in” only when he returned to his hotel after the riot.
The complaint says he originally came to Washington to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the attack on Capitol Hill, where then-President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd about how the election was “stolen.”
As the crowd began to stream toward the Capitol building, Mr. Cudo followed. The complaint said the FBI asked if he knew there would be barricades near the building, but claimed that as he approached, law enforcement appeared to “pull away.”
The complaint uses an array of images from open source footage, CCTV footage and Mr Cudo's own confessions to track his movements during the riots.
Mr. Cudo went up the northwest stairs, entered through a fire door that another rioter broke, and entered various offices and hallways of the building with other rioters.
Once outside the building, video showed Mr Cudo standing in front of a line of police before officers removed him and other rioters.
In the complaint, Mr. Cudo “acknowledged making comments to law enforcement while at the Capitol, but denied having physical contact with them.”
In his interview with the FBI, he told them he left around 5 pm back to his hotel.
said Mr. Cudo Star Tribune that he is out of custody and has a power of attorney, but had no further comment on the allegations against him.
It is unclear when he will appear in court.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the January 6 riot. About 440 people have been charged with felonies for assaulting or obstructing law enforcement.