Washington State Man Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges and Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Washington State Man Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges and Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

            WASHINGTON – Taylor Taranto, 37, of Pasco, Washington, was charged in an indictment filed today on allegations that he illegally carried a firearm without a license and unlawfully possessed a large capacity ammunition feeding device on June 29, 2023. In addition, Taranto was charged for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.

            Taranto was indicted on six charges by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. These charges include one count of carrying a pistol without a license (outside home or place of business), one count of possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, both felony charges. Taranto is also charged with four misdemeanors related to his involvement in the January 6 Capitol breach, including one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building, one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, one count of disorderly conduct in a capitol building or grounds, and one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

            The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking any firearms and ammunition involved in or used in the knowing commission of the offense.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Taranto attended a rally in Washington D.C., near the Washington Monument, shortly before traveling to the Capitol grounds. Taranto approached the grounds from the west, where he ultimately joined a large crowd of rioters gathered on the upper west terrace of the building. While there, Taranto picked up and threw pieces of metal scaffolding that were stacked on the ground.

            At approximately 2:38 p.m., court documents state that Taranto entered the Capitol building after the door was breached by several rioters.  Taranto then moved through multiple areas of the Capitol, including into the Rotunda and through Statuary Hall toward the House chamber. At approximately 2:42 p.m., Taranto was captured on video standing at the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby – an area behind the House chamber where Congresspeople were evacuating from the House chamber to a safe location. Around this time, a rioter attempted to jump through a glass window and was shot by a United States Capitol Police officer.

            In the wake of the shooting, multiple members of law enforcement arrived, including Metropolitan Police Department officers with the Civil Disturbance Unit, who began to quickly remove rioters from the area. A mob of people, including Taranto, was directed to leave the building. Video from the incident shows multiple rioters aggressively yelling, pushing, and refusing officers’ directives to leave. At the brink of the exit, Taranto and multiple other rioters, including a male identified as David Walls-Kaufman (who has been convicted and sentenced for his conduct on January 6, 2021), scuffled with police officers.

            Court documents say that at approximately 2:56 p.m., Taranto was forced to leave the building through the upper House door but remained on the Capitol grounds for an additional period of time.

            According to court records, investigators later found a video posted online, depicting Taranto from January 6. In the video, Taranto states, “So we’re in the Capitol Building…legislative building…we just stormed it.” The video was accompanied by a caption, which states, “This is me “stormin’ the capitol” lol I’m only sharing this so someone will report me to the feds and we can get this party rolling!”

            Taranto was later arrested on June 29, 2023, in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Prior to his arrest, court documents say that Taranto made several concerning statements regarding the residences in the area and desires to commit acts of violence against a federal facility. During the arrest of Taranto, law enforcement officers searched his vehicle and found two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

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