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Wisconsin National Guardsman charged in Capitol riot

Abram Markofski and Brandon Nelson were arraigned Monday in federal court for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin man and Army National Guard infantryman was taken into custody this week on charges related to the Capitol riot – becoming the latest member of the military charged in the case.

Abram Markofski, 24, and Brandon Nelson, 29, both of Wisconsin, were arraigned on Monday in federal court on charges including violent entry or disorderly conduct, demonstrating in a Capitol building and entering a restricted building or grounds.

According to court documents, an anonymous tip submitted to the FBI identified Nelson as one of the people who entered the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. In a subsequent interview with Nelson he allegedly admitted that he had traveled with his friend, Markofski, from the Madison, Wisconsin, area to D.C. on January 6 to attend the “Stop the Steal’ rally for former President Donald Trump.

The FBI was then able to match surveillance photos from inside the Capitol on January 6 to images of Nelson and Markofski, and also received phone records showing a mobile device associated with Markofski’s email account was located in or near the Capitol building on January 6.

Markofski’s LinkedIn profile describes himself as an infantry soldier with the Army National Guard. A Wisconsin National Guard spokesperson told the Wisconsin State Journal that Markofski is currently a private 1st class in the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry.

More than 40 military veterans and Guard members have now been charged in the Capitol riot. While neither Nelson nor Markofski are currently accused of being part of any extremist groups, a study by George Washington University and West Point found that military veterans charged in the Capitol riot were far more likely that non-veterans to be linked to groups like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers.

Both men appeared before federal Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker on Monday to be arraigned. Both men were granted pretrial release and ordered to stay away from the District of Columbia except for matters directly related to the case.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.