Two more Georgians arrested in Jan. 6 investigation

Justin McAllister of Douglasville and Zylas Hamilton of Blue Ridge are the latest to be charged in the sprawling investigation
Justin McAllister, 29, of Douglasville was arrested Monday and charged with assaulting police during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

Justin McAllister, 29, of Douglasville was arrested Monday and charged with assaulting police during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

Two Georgia men have been arrested in separate investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, bringing the total to 31 people with Georgia ties to be charged in the 3-year-old investigation.

Justin McAllister, 29 of Douglasville was arrested Monday and charged with assaulting police officers in a melee on the west front of the Capitol during the massive riot that took place following a speech by then-President Donald Trump at the Ellipse 2 miles away. Along with felony assault, McAllister is charged with five related misdemeanors.

In court filings, investigators said they identified McAllister in YouTube videos from the riot by the distinctive clothing he wore. Photos in court documents show McAllister wearing a red, white and blue trucker-style hat with the slogan “Trump Train” on the front and a long-sleeve T-shirt stating “I Stand for the Flag.” McAllister also carried a flagpole with a flag bearing the slogans “Jesus is my savior” and “Trump is my president.”

Investigators said McAllister used that flagpole and a second flagpole to strike at officers who had formed a line to prevent rioters from advancing on the Capitol. Security camera photos from inside the Capitol show the man investigators said is McAllister participating in a mob that breached the door to the Senate parliamentarian.

McAllister, through his father, had no comment on his arrest.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court, investigators received a tip in August 2021 that McAllister had posted a photo to his Facebook page showing he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The tip came from an unnamed civilian source who led a team of internet researchers seeking to find Jan. 6 rioters. Investigators said they also found an online interview from Jan. 6 in which McAllister identified himself and told the interviewer that he was west of Atlanta.

Court records do not explain why it took another 2 1/2 years to locate and arrest McAllister. The FBI affidavit was filed in federal court in March but was sealed until his arrest Monday. Assault on a police officer carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although in reality, Jan. 6 defendants convicted of the charge typically receive much shorter sentences.

Authorities also arrested and charged Zylas Mark Hamilton, 31, of Blue Ridge, charging him with four misdemeanors on allegations he left a trail of clues on his Facebook page.

According to court documents, Hamilton posted pictures and live video of himself inside the Capitol during the riot on Facebook, then defended his actions with more posts and in messages with friends.

“I’m safe after being maced, tear gassed and shot with a rubber bullet in the shoulder,” Hamilton allegedly wrote in a public post on Facebook.

“Why’d they gas u and stuff!?!” someone responded.

“Because we rushed them,” Hamilton said, according to court records.

Zylas Hamilton, 31 of Blue Ridge, was arrested Jan. 26, 2024, on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. Authorities say Hamilton livestreamed his entry into the Capitol on Facebook.

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

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Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

A Facebook user who saw the messages tipped off the FBI on Jan. 9, 2021, but Hamilton was not arrested until Friday, when he was charged with four misdemeanors relating to entering the Capitol, including disorderly conduct and demonstrating inside the Capitol. The charges carry a maximum of one year in prison.

Hamilton did not respond to a telephone call and email requesting comment on his arrest. Public records show Hamilton is registered to vote in Georgia, but he did not vote in the 2020 presidential election.

According to the FBI, Hamilton spent about 15 minutes inside the Capitol — entering through a breached door on the Senate wing and then wandering through the Capitol crypt. Investigators say Hamilton exited through a window after police had barricaded the door he originally entered.

Court documents claim Hamilton was warned by friends to remove his social media posts to avoid arrest.

“This country us (sic) not worth it Son the way things are now days,” one person whose name was redacted from the document reportedly wrote. “We are in the last days Jesus will take care of us.”

“I’ll die or do 20 years before my kids grow up in the country these people are trying to creat (sic),” Hamilton allegedly replied.

Most of the people with Georgia ties who have been arrested in the Jan. 6 investigation have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial. Nine, including the most recent arrestees, have pending charges.