- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 27, 2021

One of the accused U.S. Capitol rioters incriminated himself not only by posting a celebratory photo but also by wearing an attached GPS tracking device monitored by his probation officer.

The FBI was able to access the coordinates of Bryan Betancur, an avowed White supremacist, on Jan. 6 and pinpoint his location inside the Capitol’s restricted zone, according to a court affidavit justifying an arrest warrant.

“Betancur appears to have traveled in the direction of the White House Ellipse before moving East, to the area around the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building,” an FBI agent states in the affidavit. “Based on GPS data your affiant believes Betancur was in the vicinity of the U.S. Capitol from approximately 2:00 p.m. to approximately 5:00 pm on Jan. 6, 2021.”

The agent posted a screenshot of GPS readings and a map: “For example, this shows that at approximately 4:10 pm, on January 6, 2021, monitoring device logged the latitude/longitude coordinates 38.889908/-. Your affiant has reviewed these coordinates plotted using mapping software. The resolve to a point near the western steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.”

An informant provided the FBI with photos of Betancur that he had posted on social media using the aliases “Bryan Clooney” and “Maximo Clooney.” In one, a masked Betancur posed with a larger Confederate flag and a Proud Boys T-shirt.

Betancur, who lives with his mother and has been on probation since November for a burglary conviction in Maryland, is known to the FBI.

“Betancur is a self-professed white supremacist who has made statements to law enforcement officers that he is a member of several white supremacy organizations,” the affidavit states. “Betancur has voiced homicidal ideations, made comments about conducting a school shooting and has researched mass shootings.”

The FBI describes Proud Boys this way: “Proud Boys is a nationalist organization with multiple U.S. chapters and potential activity in other Western countries. The group describes itself as a ‘pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.’”

The government charged him on Jan. 15 with entering restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have used a number of investigative techniques to identify scores of rioters, most often with tipsters recognizing a social media photo or the protesters themselves proudly posting their Jan. 6 stories.

Betancur may be the first to self-incriminate by way of his mandatory GPS tracking device.

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