J6 Defendant’s Google Searches Hints at Capitol Plans, Lawsuit Alleges

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  • Another man was accused of storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
  • Prosecutors alleged the defendant’s Google searches show his plans to participate in the riot.
  • Among the alleged search queries include if he could bring a gun on a flight and “us capitol.” 

Federal prosecutors recently alleged that a man illegally stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and among the evidence is various surveillance footage, flight records, and, through a search warrant, on-the-nose Google search queries, charging documents show.

In the weeks leading up to the Capitol riot, Matthew Lawrence Stickney, whom the FBI identifies as having a Seattle address, made a series of Google searches “relevant to Stickney’s planning, travel, and participation” in the events on January 6, 2021, a Seattle FBI agent alleged in the documents.

The charging documents list 14 Google searches made between December 24, 2020, and January 10, 2021, which the agent alleged belonged to Stickney. The document notes that the queries do not reflect the entirety of Stickney’s search history.

Among the queries include: “hilton garden inn washington dc/u.s. capitol”; “how do i take my gun with me on a flight”; “can i bring a gas mask on a plane”; and, on January 10, “us capitol.”

On the night of January 6, 2021, hours after rioters stormed the Capitol, the FBI agent alleged that Stickney also searched “boy that escalated quickly.” The agent noted that the search query is a reference to the 2004 comedy film, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

Charging documents also include different screenshots of social media and surveillance footage that the FBI agent alleged shows Stickney entering the Capitol building.

Stickney was arrested on Wednesday, according to court documents. It’s not immediately clear if Stickney has an attorney.

More than 1,069 people have been charged in cases related to the January 6 riot as of October 6, according to the Justice Department.

Throughout the DOJ’s expansive efforts to prosecute those involved in the Capitol storming, several accused rioters have been caught in less-than-surprising ways, including two who bragged to their online dating app matches that they were at the Capitol.

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