DEA agent arrested on charges related to Jan. 6 riot

The agent said he was at the Capitol to assist the FBI.

Updated: July 20, 2021 - 7:38pm

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A special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration was arrested Tuesday on felony charges for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, marking the first instance where a federal law enforcement officer was charged in relation to the event.

Mark Ibrahim, a DEA agent from Orange County, California, is accused of entering restricted grounds of the Capitol, possessing a firearm while at the Capitol, and lying to investigators, according to The Hill.

Court records unsealed Tuesday show photographs of Ibrahim displaying his DEA badge while carrying his agency-issued firearm. He has not been accused of entering the Capitol itself. Ibrahim allegedly sent photos of himself on the Capitol grounds to at least five other officers via WhatsApp.

"He never committed any violence, attempted to enter any buildings nor induced or promoted others to do so," his attorney Darren Richie told The Hill. Richie said Ibrahim "at all times remained peaceful and docile," and that he "played no role in any riot."

A Justice Department official said Ibrahim created a false narrative to explain why he was at the Capitol. Ibrahim allegedly said he was there to assist the FBI. A friend allegedly told the official that Ibrahim made up the narrative in order to stay out of trouble.