Thursday, February 8, 2024–7:39 a.m.
-John Bailey, Rome News-Tribune-
This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice
Two brothers from Northwest Georgia were arrested this week and face felony federal charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump.
Seth Sarty, 45, of Rockmart, and Cepane Sarty, 38, of Marietta, are charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.
In addition, both men are charged with misdemeanor knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing inside the Capitol.
The criminal complaint against the brothers, originally filed in January, was unsealed this week by U.S. District Court Judge Moxila Upadhyaya.
According to court documents and the FBI affidavit:
The investigation into the Sarty brothers began on May 4, 2021, when the FBI received a lead from a search warrant served on Google LLC about a device present in the U.S. Capitol during the riot. Federal investigators followed up and confirmed text messages on Cepane Sarty’s phone upon his return to Hartsfield-Jackson airport following an out of country trip.
“In this text conversation, dated January 6, 2021, the Sarty brothers and another individual discussed events at the United States Capitol. The text message conversation referenced that the Sarty brothers were at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021,” the FBI affidavit stated.
Delta Airlines also confirmed that Cepane Sarty took a flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Sarty brothers entered the Capitol building via the Senate Wing Door at approximately 2:21 p.m., less than 10 minutes after the initial breach in the area.
The brothers then made their way to the Crypt and toward the Memorial Door, gathering with a group of rioters confronting a police line.
By 2:32 p.m., the brothers alongside a group of rioters had broken through the police line and gained access to the House side of the building.
The brothers then made their way to and entered the office suite of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The two then entered the Rotunda and soon exited after police deployed tear gas in an effort to remove rioters from the building. The brothers briefly exited the Capitol via the Rotunda doors only to return and reenter the building at 3:04 p.m.
The defendants then made their way back into the Rotunda and encountered a line of law enforcement officers from the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police attempting to clear the area. The brothers then made their way to the front of the police line. Police then began a push to clear rioters from the Rotunda and were actively resisted and obstructed by the rioters, including Cepane and Seth.
At about 3:09 p.m., the brothers stood at the front of the mob of rioters resisting police and began assaulting officers.
Video footage captured both men shoving officers and temporarily driving them back. For the next 19 seconds, the brothers continued to fight with police, preventing the police from clearing the Rotunda of rioters.
Police then deployed a chemical riot control agent in the direction of the defendants, causing the brothers to exit the Capitol through the Rotunda doors at 3:13 p.m.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony.
Another area man, Jacob Davis of Adairsville, is also facing charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.