Minnesota man arrested for actions during Jan. 6 riot

A Minnesota man who admitted to being at the Jan. 6 riot in the nation’s capital turned himself in to authorities and is now facing felony and misdemeanor charges related to the breach.

Paul Orta Jr., 34, of Blue Earth, is charged with felony obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. He is also charged with misdemeanor entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

A statement of facts shared by an FBI investigator states that Orta willingly entered the FBI field office in Minneapolis on Jan. 25, 2021, and identified himself after seeing his face on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” website.

Documents show Orta spoke with agents, saying he “wanted to do the right thing” and identified himself as the man in the “Most Wanted” photo.

During the initial interview with agents, Orta admitted to going past the “first barrier” but denied passing the “second barrier” and also said he did not enter the Capitol. Orta also said he did not throw anything or hit anyone “that he could recall.”

He was arrested Tuesday and was set to make his court appearance in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Ahead of the riot, court documents detail two interactions Orta had with law enforcement just a day earlier.

The statement of facts says Orta was one of four people aboard a privately owned converted school bus that was covered in Trump 2020 graffiti on Jan. 5, 2021. He was patted down during a traffic stop and released.

Later that same afternoon, around 1:45 p.m., the bus was stopped by police again, this time with a total of seven people on the bus. Police say they then recovered a 9mm pistol with four loaded 9mm magazines along with a .22 caliber rifle with 275 rounds of ammunition and a 110-round .22 caliber drum magazine. The owner of the bus was arrested on weapons charges and the driver was arrested for not having a permit to drive in Washington, D.C., while Orta was reportedly searched and released.

The next day, Orta was seen among the crowd storming the Capitol.

A criminal complaint filed in Washington, D.C., points to video evidence taken at the Capitol that shows Orta removing a barrier and encouraging others in the crowd to move forward.

Another video shows Orta marching with a crowd as it continued to advance toward the Capitol. He is then seen pulling down a black mask to reveal his face as he speaks into the camera saying, “We’re taking that s— today!”

Police then fell back and tried to form another barrier with bike racks. The criminal complaint states Orta and others in the crowd then removed the racks during their advance on the Capitol, pushing police back further.

Court documents detail that Orta removed at least two sections of the barrier and threw them over a concrete wall, making it easier for the crowd to advance and harder for officers to regain control.

In other photos taken from video at the Capitol, Orta is seen toward the front of the crowd holding a cell phone. He is later seen throwing “an unknown dark-colored object” toward police as they attempt to form another defensive line.

Police body camera footage then shows Orta pushing against a newly formed police line just after 2 p.m.

After crowds broke through the line, Orta was seen on top of a nearby concrete wall and with his fist raised into the air.

He is the 13th person from Minnesota charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riot.

A total of 1,200 people were charged with crimes related to the riot, including 400 charged with felony assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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