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A Capitol riot suspect tricked a judge into letting him travel, then schmoozed with other Jan. 6 defendants at a conference, feds say

Prosecutors say Gabriel Augustin Garcia duped a court to allow him to attend CPAC.Prosecutors say Gabriel Augustin Garcia (left) duped a court to allow him to attend CPAC.

US District Court for the District of Columbia

  • A Capitol riot suspect tricked a court into allowing him to attend CPAC, prosecutors allege.
  • The suspect asked the court if he could travel to Washington, DC to attend another Jan. 6 trial.
  • Instead, he spent more than 12 hours at CPAC schmoozing with fellow January 6 defendants, prosecutors allege.

A Capitol riot suspect fooled a court into allowing him to attend the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference where he took selfies and “socialized” with fellow January 6 defendants, federal prosecutors alleged. 

Florida resident Gabriel Augustin Garcia, described in court papers as a former US Army captain, had requested permission from the court to travel to Washington, DC, last month to see the trial of another January 6 defendant. 

“He stated that observing a different defendant’s trial would assist with his trial preparation and his ultimate decision to go to trial or enter a change of plea,” prosecutors wrote new documents filed on Monday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Garcia told the court he would travel in his RV and stay in Virginia or Maryland, and not Washington, DC. 

“If I make any stops it will be to sleep along a rest stop,” Garcia told the United States Probation Office in a letter, according to the court papers. 

Garica’s request was ultimately approved on the condition that his trip was for “‘the limited purposes of attending’ a trial and meeting with defendant’s former pro hac vice attorney and/or current counsel,” the court documents say. 

However, prosecutors say that on March 2, Garcia arrived in Alexandria, Virginia, and then “went straight” to National Harbor, Maryland, to attend CPAC where he stayed from 5 p.m. to about 9:27 p.m. 

The next day, Garcia attended a January 6 trial for less than three hours and then traveled back to Maryland to attend the major political event for eight hours, according to prosecutors. 

“It appears that defendant’s last-minute request to travel to Washington, DC, was not for the stated reason for the trip,” prosecutors wrote in court documents, explaining that Garica “spent about 12.5 hours in National Harbor at CPAC DC 23, taking pictures and socializing with fellow January 6 defendants.”

Defense attorneys for Garica argued that Garcia’s trip to CPAC “was not a violation of defendant’s conditions,” the court papers say. 

Garcia’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Monday. 

Garcia even mocked the situation on social media, prosecutors said. 

“The issue is not that defendant attended a political event. The real problem is that defendant has repeatedly demonstrated that his representations to the Court should be doubted,” prosecutors said in the court documents. 

The feds added, “Where he purports to need to watch a January 6 trial to make decisions about his own case, in reality, he used ‘watching trial’ as a pretext for attending an out-of-state conference that featured a panel of January 6 defendants … and personally meeting at least one such individual.”

“Because this defendant has continually taken advantage of the permissiveness of the Court with deceptive travel requests, and takes to social media to mock the process, it is apparent that defendant does not appreciate the gravity of the situation he is in and he does not respect this Court’s authority,” the feds said as they explained they plan to deny future travel requests by Garica. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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