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Archive for March 9th, 2022

Minneapolis Man Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Impersonating FBI Agent

By Steve Neavling

A Minneapolis man who impersonated an FBI agent was sentenced to 10 months in prison. 

Benard Holmes, 67, called an unidentified victim in July 2017 and “spoofed his telephone number to make it appear that he was calling his victim from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.”

During the call, Holmes identified himself as “FBI Special Agent John Tidwell,” used a fake FBI badge number, and claimed he was investigating terrorism connected to the victim’s household. He cited fake evidence from computer and IP address at the victim’s home. 

Holmes questioned the victim with “highly charged words,” such as “ISIS” and “Patriot Act.”

Holmes pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a federal officer on Oct. 20. 

Holmes’ motives were unclear in a Justice Department news release.

The FBI and Bloomington Police Department investigated the case. 

Jury Delivers First Guilty Verdict Stemming from Jan. 6 Riot

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The first person to stand trial in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was found guilty on all charges Tuesday. 

A federal jury found Guy Reffitt, an oil field worker from Wylie, Texas, guilty on five counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making threats to obstruct justice and bringing a firearm to a restricted area.

The maximum penalty for the obstruction count alone is 20 years in prison. 

In a statement, Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, sent a message to the remaining defendants who have not yet pleaded guilty.  

“Rather than take responsibility for his actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Reffitt opted to put his family through a painful trial,” D’Antuono said. “Today’s guilty verdict in the first jury trial of a Jan. 6 defendant should serve as a reminder for others who committed crimes at the Capitol that day that these are serious charges and that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will do what it takes to hold them accountable.”

It took the jury just three hours to deliberate. 

The verdict was important for the Justice Department, particularly because of a rarely used obstruction charge that is being challenged by other defendants, The New York Times reports.

Of the more than 750 rioters who have been charged in the riot, more than 200 have pleaded guilty.