'Walis Tambo' man comes clean, pleads guilty in US Capitol riot case

'Walis Tambo' man comes clean, pleads guilty in US Capitol riot case
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in the US Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
AFP / Saul Loeb

MANILA, Philippines — Kene Brian Lazo, the man documented with a walis tambo during the Janaury 6, 2021 incursion into the US Capitol has pleaded guilty to Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in a Capitol building, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

He may also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000 as well as interest and penalties on fines if not paid on time.

"Defendant sworn and enters a Plea of Guilty as to Count 4 of the Information. The Court accepts the Plea and the Defendant is found Guilty," the docket entry for his case reads.

According to the plea agreement that Lazo signed with the US Department of Justice, he will also have to pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol as part of the estimated $1.495 million in damage that was caused to the historic building during the January 6 riot. 

As part of the agreement, Lazo will no longer be prosecuted for other offenses but also acknowledges that the offenses he was charged with were factual.

Lazo, in a separate Statement of Offense that he also signed, acknowledged that he "knew at the time he entered the US Capitol Building that he did not have permission to enter the building and while inside he paraded, demonstrated or picketed."

He has also agreed to cooperate with authorities in further investigations into the riot.

According to Virginia-based news website WAVY.com, Lazo is also facing separate charges of sexually abusing a child and of assault.

Found through Facebook

The FBI arrested Lazo in May 2021 over his involvement in the Janaury 6 riot. 

An FBI special agent said then that they were assigned to investigate a tip about a Facebook user named "Fam Council," which posted photos of the January 6 riot instigated by then US President Donald Trump himself.

The agent was then able to identify Lazo through photos of the helmet he wore during the riot which carried the name of his company, Rodbustars.

The agent said that during the time of the Capitol riot, the phone number associated with Rodbustars connected to a cell site "consistent with providing service to a geographic area inside the Capitol building."

Lazo was just one of the rioters who besieged the US Capitol in an attempt to thwart US lawmakers from certifying the election victory of US President Joe Biden.

Trump had falsely claimed numerous times that the election was stolen from him.

On Janauary 6, 2022, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia reported that "more than 725 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia."

More than 225 of those had been charged "with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including over 75 individuals who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer." — Jonathan de Santos




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