Hall County

Gainesville man arrested, accused of being one of the first to breach the Capitol on Jan. 6

CUMMING, Ga. — A Gainesville man was arrested on Friday and is accused of being among the first people to breach barricades at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Ronald Loehrke, 30, was arrested in Cumming and charged with civil disorder and other charges, according to a Department of Justice release. He was released pending further proceedings.

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According to court documents, Loehrke had been living in the Seattle area but recently moved to northeast Georgia, according to published reports. He had made contact with Ethan Nordean, a leader Proud Boys. Documents showed that Nordean had texted that he wanted Loehrke on “the front line” with him. Other documents show that Loehrke had been in contact with James Haffner, 53, of South Dakota, who was charged in the same complaint. Nordean has been charged with conspiracy and other charges.

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On Jan. 6, Loehrke and Haffner marched with a group led by Nordean to the capital, the DOJ said. Loehrke and the group are accused of overwhelming a pedestrian gate and being among the first to push past barricades on the west side of the Capitol. Loehrke then entered the Capitol and was seen on video and photos in confrontations with police, the documents said. At one point Loehrke shouted, “Don’t back down, patriots,” investigators said.

Loehrke is the 16th person with ties to Georgia tobe arrested, but he only recently moved to Georgia, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. He bought a house in May near Lake Lanier, according to property records.

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The case is being investigated by the FBI. The DOJ says that since Jan. 6 more than 675 people linked to the breach of the Capitol have been arrested.

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