FBI agents charged a Gorham man this week with taking part in the deadly riot and storming of the U.S. Capitol that sent lawmakers fleeing and injured dozens of police officers on Jan. 6.

Nicholas P. Hendrix, 34, in a photograph investigators say was found on Hendrix’s phone from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Photo courtesy of FBI

Nicholas Patrick Hendrix, 34, turned himself in to law enforcement Thursday and faces four charges in U.S. District Court in Portland for allegedly entering the Capitol along with hundreds of others who stormed the building, forcing lawmakers to flee, after former President Donald Trump urged the crowd to keep fighting to overturn the election results.

Hendrix is the third man with Maine ties, and second Maine resident, to face federal charges resulting from the riot. They are among the more than 400 people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection.

FBI agents received an online tip Jan. 11 about Hendrix talking about his experience at the Capitol. The tipster said Hendrix was showing video footage he took that day and told people he had been pepper-sprayed, indicating that he was close to the building.

Several days later, FBI agents interviewed Hendrix in the parking lot of the Hannaford in Standish. Hendrix told agents he drove to Boston and caught an overnight bus to Washington, D.C. During the interview, Hendrix admitted that he had entered the Capitol building with a large crowd, according to a narrative filed in U.S. District Court in Portland by FBI agent Kristina Troxel of the Boston Field Office.

“Hendrix followed a mass of people to the Capitol and ultimately explained the crowd ‘pushed’ themselves into the Capitol,” Troxel wrote in the narrative filed in support of an arrest warrant. “He further provided that he was inside the Capitol for a ‘minute or two’ before exiting. He attempted to enter the Capitol a second time, but he was hit with pepper-spray and then left the area.”

Hendrix told agents that he knew it was illegal to go inside.

“Hendrix perceived that there was not too much resistance from law enforcement to individuals going inside the Capitol building and expressed that he believed the United States Capitol Police were quitting and allowing them to go inside,” Troxel wrote. “Hendrix admitted that he knew it was illegal to enter the Capitol building.”

Hendrix faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building and disorderly or disruptive behavior inside a restricted building, which are Class A misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of one year in prison, $100,000 in fines, and one year of probation.

The other two charges of  violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and parading, demonstrating or picketing inside a Capitol building are petty misdemeanors, and carry maximum penalties of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Hendrix is not charged with assaulting police officers or damaging property.

During the first interview, Hendrix allowed agents to extract images and videos from his cellphone that appear to depict Hendrix at the riot, some of which were included in the court filing, and showed the distinctive clothing he was wearing at the time.

Surveillance cameras from inside the Capitol showed a man matching Hendrix’s description and wearing the same clothing enter the Capitol building along with a throng of others outside the rotunda door; 83 seconds later, he left the building, Troxel wrote.

During a subsequent interview with FBI agents in March, Hendrix showed agents the protest T-shirt he wore and the sign he carried that day. When they interviewed him, he was wearing what appeared to be the same pair of reflective, wraparound sun glasses that he wore at the Capitol in January.

The shirt, which he held up to his chest for agents, included a derogatory reference to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. His protest sign said “Stop the communist and terrorist revolution,” according to the court records.

During his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Maine on Thursday, Hendrix appeared via video link from an unidentified law enforcement office, and answered questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III in a polite, gravelly voice. He was represented at the hearing by public defender David Beneman.

Because the charges against Hendrix were filed in the District of Columbia where the alleged offenses took place, Hendrix was not asked to enter a plea to the charges. Hendrix will remain free on an unsecured $5,000 bond while the case moves forward, and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C. next Thursday via video conference, when he is expected to enter a plea.

While he is out on bail, Hendrix is forbidden from engaging in new criminal conduct, drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs, including marijuana, all standard conditions.

 

A still image from the Capitol’s security system shows Hendrix inside the building, according to the FBI. Photo courtesy of FBI

So far, more than 400 people have been charged in connection with the riot at the Capitol, where angry Trump supporters intent on stopping the certification of the election of Joe Biden as president stormed the Capitol, disrupting the typically pro-forma certification process of the electoral college vote count. Lawmakers and staffers were sent scrambling as the mob encroached closer to elected officials.

One woman was shot and killed by a Secret Service member when she tried to climb through an interior glass window that leads to the speaker’s lobby, where several lawmakers were hiding feet away. Dozens of police officers were injured in the attack, and the mob eventually breached the well of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

The first Mainer to be charged in connection with the riot at the Capitol was Kyle Fitzsimons, 37, of Lebanon, who was arrested in February. A Georgia man who is originally from Minot, Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, also has been charged. Both have pleaded not guilty.

 

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