BE man 13th Minnesotan charged in riot

Local News

More than two years after going to the FBI and admitting he took part in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a Blue Earth man was arrested early Tuesday morning.

According to the Faribault County Jail roster, 34-year-old Paul Orta Jr. was arrested by local police and booked at 12:45 a.m.

Orta appeared in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on Wednesday and was charged with one felony count of obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder and misdemeanor charges of entering restricted buildings or grounds and disorderly conducted in restricted buildings or grounds.

He was released on a personal recognizance bond and is scheduled to appear at a court hearing in Washington on Nov. 28. Orta was ordered not to leave Minnesota except for his court appearance in Washington.

A criminal complaint says that Orta is allegedly seen on video footage participating in the riot inside the restricted perimeter on the west side of the Capitol.

According to court documents, the video shows Orta throwing objects at officers, removing security barricades and charging into a police line in an attempt to enter restricted areas of the Capitol as the House of Representatives was certifying Joe Biden’s election victory over Donald Trump.

Orta was wearing a black balaclava and green camouflage vest, according to court documents, and was seen removing the balaclava over his nose and shouting, “We’re taking that s*** today!”

Court documents say Orta arrived in a Washington suburb on Jan. 5, 2021, aboard a privately owned school bus with Trump 2020 graffiti that got the attention of a concerned citizen who contacted police.

Orta and three others on the bus were checked for weapons and released, but the bus was later stopped by police in Washington near the Capitol Mall by police.

Authorities searched the vehicle and found two guns and ammunition and the driver was arrested on weapons charges.

A criminal complaint says Orta saw himself in a photo from the insurrection that the FBI posted online and then went to the agency’s Minneapolis field office on Jan. 25, 2021, to acknowledge his participation.

He reportedly told agents he was going to them because “he wanted to do the right thing.”

The complaint says he admitted going past the “first barrier,” but he denied breaching the “second barrier” or entering the Capitol itself.

Thirteen Minnesotans have been charged in the Capitol insurrection. So far, five of them have been convicted.

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