Cowboys for Trump leader arrested over US Capitol riot

  • FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Cowboys for Trump leader and Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, center, talks with Republican New Mexico state Rep. Candy Ezzell of Roswell, N.M., at a protest against gun control and pro-abortion rights legislation outside the New Mexico State Capitol, in Santa Fe, N.M. A New Mexico county official who runs a group called "Cowboys for Trump" who had vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk was arrested by the FBI on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol.

    FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Cowboys for Trump leader and Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, center, talks with Republican New Mexico state Rep. Candy Ezzell of Roswell, N.M., at a protest against gun control and pro-abortion rights legislation outside the New Mexico State Capitol, in Santa Fe, N.M. A New Mexico county official who runs a group called "Cowboys for Trump" who had vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk was arrested by the FBI on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo, County Commissioner Couy Griffin speaks in Santa Fe, N.M., as hundreds of advocates for gun rights rally at the New Mexico Statehouse against a proposed red-flag gun law that has the support of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Griffin, a New Mexico county official who runs a group called "Cowboys for Trump" who had vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk was arrested by the FBI on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.  Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol.

    FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo, County Commissioner Couy Griffin speaks in Santa Fe, N.M., as hundreds of advocates for gun rights rally at the New Mexico Statehouse against a proposed red-flag gun law that has the support of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Griffin, a New Mexico county official who runs a group called "Cowboys for Trump" who had vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk was arrested by the FBI on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/18/2021 2:30 AM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump who had vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk has been arrested Sunday by the FBI.

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol.

 

According to court documents, Griffin told investigators that he was 'caught up' in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol, but he said he did not enter the building and instead remained on the U.S. Capitol steps.

A video posted to Griffin's personal Facebook page shows Griffin in the restricted areas, according to the affidavit.

Griffin did not immediately respond to phone or text messages seeking comment.

On Thursday, Griffin, said he planned to travel with firearms to Washington, D.C., for Biden's inauguration.

'I'm gonna be there on Jan. 20 ... and I'm gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms,' Griffin said during a meeting of the Otero County Board of Commissioners.

'I'm gonna leave either tonight or tomorrow. I've got a .357 Henry Big Boy rifle lever action that I've got in the trunk of my car and I've got a .357 single action revolver, the Colt Ruger Vaquero that I'll have underneath the front seat on my right side and I will embrace my Second Amendment,' he said.

___

Associated Press journalist Morgan Lee contributed to this report.

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