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FBI Found Thumb Drive Filled With ‘Weapons- and Bomb-Making Manuals’ in Proud Boy’s Home: DOJ

Capitol Riot, Insurrection, Siege

Dominic “Spaz” Pezzola

The FBI found a thumb drive filled with files detailing instructions for “firearms, poisons and/or explosives” inside the house of Proud Boy Dominic “Spaz” Pezzola, whom a witness tied to a plot to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence and every “m-fer” he could, prosecutors claimed on Friday.

“While some of those files are related to seemingly innocuous topics, a significant number of those .pdfs provide detailed instructions for making homemade firearms, poisons, and/or explosives. A sample of titles includes, but is not limited to: (1) multiple serials of a series entitled ‘Advanced Improvised Explosives,’ those serials including ‘Explosive Dusts’ and ‘Incendiaries;’ (2) ‘The Box Tube MAC-11,’ with subtitle, ‘The Ultimate DIY Machine Pistol;’ (3) ‘Ragnar’s Big Book of Homemade Weapons;’ and (4) ‘The Advanced Anarchist’s Arsenal: Recipes for Improvised Incendiaries and Explosives,'” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik M. Kenerson wrote in an alarming memo seeking to keep him behind bars pending trial.

Before his arrest, Pezzola was the Proud Boy seen on an FBI wanted poster having a “victory smoke” of his cigar inside the U.S. Capitol.

“Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys,” Pezzola allegedly said upon entering the building. “This is f***ing awesome. I knew we could take this motherf***er over [if we] just tried hard enough.”

Prosecutors claim that Pezzola’s brazenness has not abated since the siege.

“He has shown a willingness to attempt to ‘go off the grid,’ as evidenced by his decision to stop using his cellular phone, and to attempt to change his appearance to avoid detection,” the 21-page memo states. “He had access, at the time of his arrest, to a significant number of instructions on how to build homemade guns and homemade explosives, available on a thumb drive. He showed perseverance, determination, and coordination in being at the front lines every step along the way before breaking into the Capitol.”

Pezzola must also remain in jail before trial because of his risk of flight, the government says.

“Moreover, although the defendant turned himself in on the arrest warrant, he did so only after going on the run, changing his appearance, and apparently turning off his cell phone,” the memo argues. “He offered to turn himself only after the FBI started knocking on his family members’ doors in the Rochester, New York area to inquire about his whereabouts.”

Court papers showed him using a police riot shield to break through a window of the Capitol.

“Pezzola was not the only person trying to break windows and forcibly enter the Capitol at that time, but he appears, based on video reviewed by undersigned counsel, to be the first person at this particular entrance to successfully breach a window or door well enough to allow entry,” prosecutors wrote in a footnote.

Pezzola was part of a crowd demanding information about where to find the lawmakers, prosecutors say.

“Pezzola was part of a group that turned to the right and eventually confronted USCP Officer Eugene Goodman, demanding to know ‘where they meeting at, where they counting the votes?'” the memo states. “It is unclear from the video which member of the mob shouted that question at Officer Goodman.”

Pictures and social media accounts cited by the FBI linked Pezzola to the far-right group The Proud Boys. Pezzola also has a background with the U.S. Marines, the documents say.

When asked if she had any comment on the revelations in the government’s detention memo, Pezzola’s defense attorney Kira Anne West supplied a one-word answer in an email: “No.”

[Screenshot from court papers]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."