2 men with Georgia ties face federal charges connected to Capitol riots

ATLANTA — A Georgia man is one of at least 16 people facing federal charges in connection with Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol, according to Channel 2 Action News partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cleveland Grover Meredith, originally of Hiawassee, has been charged with threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in text messages he sent after the attack. Federal charging documents show that he texted he was thinking about “putting a bullet in (Pelosi’s) noggin on live TV.”

Meredith also faces weapons charges after he texted a friend he was headed to Washington with armor-piercing ammo.

Channel 2 Action News and the AJC learned later Sunday night of another man who was arrested and had ties to north Georgia.

Nashville, Tennessee police arrested 30-year-old Eric Gavelek Munchel, who is believed to be the person known as the “zip tie guy” seen in viral social media posts.

Munchel was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a release.

Records show that Munchel previously lived in DeKalb and Fulton County. The Fulton County records also showed his previous arrests on faced battery, marijuana possession and speeding charges in 2013 and 2014.

The AJC said Munchel’s apparent Facebook page showed he was a graduate of Fannin County High School. The page had been removed Sunday.


According to a report filed by federal agents, Meredith intended on attending the planned Trump protest on Jan. 6 but had car trouble on the way. Meredith headed to Washington anyway, where FBI agents found him at a hotel room on Jan. 7.

Meredith told agents he had two firearms in his vehicle. Agents found a Glock 19, 9-mm pistol, an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a trailer attached to his truck. Meredith did not have registration to have any firearms in Washington.

Meredith showed agents the string of text messages in which he made the threats. At one point, a family member told Meredith he was worried about him. Meredith said he was “just having fun” and that he had “been on the radar for awhile and they now (sic) I am harmless.”

“I predict that within 12 days, many in our country will die,” he wrote in one text.

Meredith also admitted to agents he participated in a protest outside Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s home.

Meredith was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition, according to court records.

Meredith owned a car wash in Smyrna before moving to north Georgia about two years ago.

In 2018, Meredith erected a billboard on Cobb Parkway in Acworth advertising the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to the AJC. QAnon subscribers believe that there is a secret cabal of pedophiles within the government and Hollywood elites and that President Donald Trump is fighting a holy war against them.

Meredith told The AJC at the time that he had put up the QAnon billboard because he was “a patriot among the millions who love this country.”

According to Fulton County records, Meredith’s ex-wife filed for divorce in 2019.

Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith said Meredith moved to the area about two years ago. As soon as he moved into town, Meredith’s parents alerted the department to their son’s QAnon beliefs and said his behavior had recently changed. Smith reported that information to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Smith said he lived in a town house in Lake Chatuge and kept to himself. He did not have any run-ins with police there.

Meredith’s parents told the police department that their son moved to Clay County, N.C. last month.