9th Minnesotan charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Another Minnesotan has been charged with federal crimes in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
Frank Joseph Bratjan Jr. was arrested last Wednesday and is charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and demonstrating in a Capitol building.
Federal court documents say the FBI’s Minneapolis office received a tip in January 2022 that a man named “Joe” was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, adding that “Joe” had taken a selfie in the Capitol and sent it to his mother. The tipster also said the man had moved back to Minnesota to live with his mother after the Capitol riot investigations started instead of staying with his father in Syracuse, New York.
The FBI was able to track Bratjan and confirmed he worked at a U.S. Post Office location in Eagan.
Another tipster told the FBI that Bratjan had told him at their gym that he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and was tear-gassed. The tipster also reported seeing videos of Bratjan at the riot posted to his social media accounts but they later were deleted. However, the tipster was able to get a screenshot of one of Bratjan’s posts before it was deleted and provided it to the FBI, according to the complaint.
In reviewing surveillance video, the FBI determined Bratjan went into the Capitol through a broken window and stayed inside for about 35 minutes. The complaint states video also showed Bratjan in a crowd of rioters that was pushing against a line of law enforcement officers near the officers of Sen. Mitch McConnell. The officers then used tear gas on the rioters.
At least eight other Minnesotans have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot but most are still awaiting trial. An Austin man and his father, who is from Iowa, pleaded guilty last month and the son was sentenced to four months in prison while his father got one month.