A seventh Alabama resident has been arrested on federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Russell Dean Alford, owner of an auto body shop in Etowah County, was among the crowd that stormed the Capitol during a joint session of the Congress to certify the vote count of the Electoral College of the 2020 presidential election, authorities say.
From court records made public Monday, it appeared the Hokes Bluff man was expecting the feds to find him.
“I wondered when y’all were going to show up,’’ charging documents quote Alford as saying. “Guess you’ve seen the videos on my Facebook page.”
Alford is charged with entering a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct. There are no allegations that Alford was armed or injured anyone.
He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gray M. Borden Monday and was released on $5,000 bond with special conditions. The bond order was sealed, but Alford’s next court hearing is April 1 via Zoom.
He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Court records list no prior criminal history for Alford in Alabama. His Facebook page consists mostly of pro-Republican, anti-Democrat posts.
It was about 2 p.m. that Wednesday when the pack forced entry into the Capitol, including by breaking windows and by assaulting members of the U.S. Capitol Police.
According to court records made public Monday, Alford posted a video from the Capitol to his personal YouTube page titled, “January 6, 2021” which shows several dozen people lined up in a hallway inside the government building.
Toward the end of the video, investigators say, Alford turns the camera around on himself and can be seen wearing yellow or orange-tinted glasses and a tan cap turned backwards.
The following day, documents state, Alford posted a second video titled “stuff’ to his YouTube page. That video showed the same hallway with individuals lined up against the walls.
The individuals in the hallway could be heard yelling about a woman who had reportedly been shot inside the Capitol.
Security camera footage from inside the U.S. Capitol showed Alford entering the upper House door on the southeast side of the Capitol building at 2:43 p.m., and leaving the same door at approximately 2:54 p.m.
In these screenshots, Alford is seen wearing the same yellow or orange-tinted glasses and backwards tan cap as in the videos posted to YouTube. He was also wearing a black leather “Hard Rock Café’’ jacket.
Body cam footage from a Metropolitan Police Department officer who responded to melee also captured images of Alford inside the Capitol.
FBI agents on Jan. 20 interviewed Alford at his place of business, Alford’s Paint & Body Shop, in Hokes Bluff. It was then, records state, that Alford told them he had been expecting them.
He then asked the FBI agents whether they were there to take him to jail. The FBI agents informed Alford that they were not, but that lying to an FBI agent could be punishable by more than a year in federal prison.
“Alford confirmed that he understood and stated that he was not going to lie about anything,’’ an agent wrote in charging documents.
Alford told FBI agents he attended the Trump rally in Washington, D.C. that day. He explained that he had wanted to attend a Trump rally for quite some time and thought that could be his last opportunity to do so.
He said that on Jan. 5, he and a friend drove to just outside Washington, D.C. and rented a hotel room. The next day, they drove into the city to attend the Trump rally near the White House.
At the end of the rally, Alford told investigators, he began walking with the crowd toward the Capitol. He said he entered through a door that was broken open but did not see who had opened the door.
He then used his cell phone to show agents some of the videos he took inside the Capitol.
Before the agents left, they asked him to email them the videos but when they received them later that day, the attachments had not come through.
With Alford permission, agents returned to his business and copied the videos onto a DVD.