FBI arrests North Georgia man for entering Capitol in Jan. 6 riot

Protestors storm the Senate side of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 after a rally at which President Donald Trump spoke. At least 30 law enforcement officers from around the country took part in the rally that preceded the riot. (Jason Andrew/The New York Times)
Protestors storm the Senate side of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 after a rally at which President Donald Trump spoke. At least 30 law enforcement officers from around the country took part in the rally that preceded the riot. (Jason Andrew/The New York Times)

Credit: Jason Andrew/The New York Times

Credit: Jason Andrew/The New York Times

A North Georgia man accused of being among the first to enter the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection faces multiple felony charges, the FBI announced Thursday.

Verden Andrew Nalley, of Buford, was allegedly with Americus attorney William McCall Calhoun as pro-Trump rioters pushed past police and entered the Capitol, according to an indictment filed in federal court. Nalley, 49, faces three felony charges related to the riot.

He has been assigned a public defender. A bond hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon in Atlanta. As with many of the more than 200 people arrested for their alleged roles in the riot, prosecutors are asking Nalley be held in jail without bond until trial.

According to federal investigators, Calhoun identified Nalley in a Facebook post on Jan. 6.

“We physically took control of the Capitol Building in a hand to hand hostile takeover,” Calhoun wrote, according to an FBI affidavit. “I was there and saw it all. My buddy Andy Nalley and I were in the first two hundred to rush up the steps and inside after the Vanguard had clashed hard with the police and made them retreat.”

Calhoun was denied bond in an earlier hearing and has been moved to Washington, D.C., for prosecution.

Nalley joins a growing number of Georgians tied to the violence at the Capitol.

On Wednesday, a federal judge denied bond to Lisa Marie Eisenhart, 56, of Woodstock and her son, Eric Gavelek Munchel, 30, of Nashville. Munchel, known online as the “zip-tie guy,” is a Georgia native and attended high school in Blue Ridge. He was videoed inside the Senate galley carrying handfuls of plastic wrist restraints while Eisenhart shouted, “Treason!”

Last week, a federal judge denied bond to Bruno Cua, 18 of Milton, who also was filmed inside the Senate chamber. Cua traveled with his family to Washington to attend the rally where former President Donald Trump urged his followers to “fight like hell.”

Cua’s father, Joseph Cua, testified at the bond hearing that he and his family were “misled” by the former president and supporters like Atlanta attorney Lin Wood. He said he no longer believed the November election was stolen from Trump.

Michael Shane Daughtry of Baker County was arrested after members of the Pelham Police Department saw his social media posts during the riot and alerted the FBI. A former police officer, Daughtry was among the crowd that pushed its way onto the Capitol grounds and onto the scaffolding erected for the inauguration, according to an affidavit filed in his case.

Cleveland Meredith, a Georgia native who had recently moved to Colorado, missed the Jan. 6 riot due to car trouble but was arrested later in a Washington hotel after sending messages threatening to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Federal authorities arrested 22-year-old Benjamin Harry Torre, of Dawsonville, last week on charges that he illegally entered the Capitol through a broken window during the riot and went into the office of a senator. Torre was identified through photos circulated on social media. He faces two misdemeanor charges and was released on bond.

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