- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 6, 2021

Ethan Nordean, a self-described “sergeant at arms” for the group called the Proud Boys, could pose a “potentially catastrophic risk of danger” if released before trial, his prosecutor said Friday.

Mr. Nordean, also known as Rufio Pacman, “helped plan, helped lead and participated in the Proud Boys‘ participation in the riot at the Capitol,” U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran said in a court filing.

Mr. Moran, the top federal law enforcement officer in western Washington state, argued there are no conditions that could ensure Mr. Nordean, 30, stands trial for related charges if released before then.

His top role in the Proud Boys — the self-proclaimed leader of its Seattle chapter — made Mr. Nordean easy to identify after breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Mr. Moran wrote in the filing.

Mr. Nordean was arrested Wednesday and remanded to custody. The filing, the U.S. government’s motion in support of pretrial detention, was entered ahead of a hearing on the matter set for Monday.

“The nature and circumstances of the charged offenses weigh heavily in favor of detention,” Mr. Moran wrote on behalf of the U.S. government, adding that Mr. Nodean, “a member of a right-wing militia, knowingly and willfully participated in a riot that was designed to prevent the United States Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

“Not only did Defendant participate in the riot, but his public statements indicate that he was part of the group that helped plan how the Proud Boys would act during the riot,” the prosecutor said.

Additionally, Mr. Moran argued Mr. Nordean is a flight risk because a recent search of his residence uncovered a valid passport belonging to someone else bearing a “comparative likeness” to himself.

“If nothing else, the events of January 6, 2021, have exposed the size and determination of right-wing fringe groups in the United States, and their willingness to place themselves and others in danger to further their political ideology.,” Mr. Moran argued. “Releasing Defendant to rejoin their fold and plan their next attack poses a potentially catastrophic risk of danger to the community.”

Mr. Nodean currently faces charges of aiding and abetting injury or depredation against government property, obstructing or impeding an official proceeding, knowingly entering or remaining in restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A public defender appointed to represent him in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Department of Justice has charged more than 150 people so far with crimes related to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, included multiple leading, members of the Proud Boys, whose members describe themselves as “proud western chauvinists.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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