Tip from family member leads to arrest of Capitol riot suspect in Marion County, FBI says

Records show suspect thought he was breaking into White House

FBI: Relative of Kenneth Kelly, 58, supplied investigators with photos of Kelly from the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
FBI: Relative of Kenneth Kelly, 58, supplied investigators with photos of Kelly from the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Another man accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been arrested in Central Florida.

Kenneth Kelly made his first appearance in front of a federal judge Friday afternoon after surrendering himself earlier in the day.

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According to the FBI, a relative of Kelly’s sent a tip online saying the 58-year-old “broke into the U.S. Capitol.” The tip also claimed to have photos of Kelly and an unknown friend of his smashing a window in the Capitol to get inside the building, records show.

The relative supplied screenshots of texts and pictures from Kelly, according to investigators, which read “Inside White house (sic) via breaking in windows” and, “Patriots stormed the White House, broke in while Senate (with a little s) was in sessiondenating (sic) Arizona. The were hiding under ther (sic) desks. Forced into recess. Patriots took back our capitol today.”

FBI: Surveillance photos show Kelly with 2 unknown men inside the Capitol (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Federal investigators said they were able to identify Kelly in surveillance video — see photos above — from inside the Capitol building as well, wearing a dark blue beanie with “TRUMP” written across it.

The FBI was also able to get GPS records for Kelly’s phone from Google following a search warrant, which placed him within the Capitol building, records show. From that information, investigators produced a map showing the phone’s movements inside the Capitol.

FBI: Map showing Kelly's movements inside the Capitol (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Kelly faces charges of knowingly entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building and two counts of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Prosecutors didn’t ask the judge to detain Kelly and he was released on his own recognizance.

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On Jan. 6, a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters pushed past police and entered the Capitol building as lawmakers were preparing to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win. Five people died during the violence: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick and four demonstrators.

Hundreds of arrests have been made thus far, a number that includes several Floridians.

Among the most notable local suspects are a Sanford firefighter, a Proud Boys organizer and a Marion County man who was previously convicted of attempted murder.

Three others – Connie and Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson – are accused of plotting their actions ahead of Jan. 6 through phone calls and online conversations as members of the Oath Keepers.

Anyone with information about someone who was involved in the riot can find details on how to report them here.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.