Recently, a Washington state man was arrested on a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. Benjamin John Silva, 36, of Yacolt, Washington, disrupted the joint session of the U.S. Congress and impeded the counting of electoral votes related to the presidential election. Silva is facing charges such as civil disorder, entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct, engaging in physical violence, and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds. Law enforcement officials identified Silva in video footage as part of the group that resisted police lines at the Lower West Terrace Tunnel entrance. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and investigated by the FBI’s Seattle and Washington Field Offices. Over the course of 30 months since the Capitol breach, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested, with investigations ongoing.
Arrest and Charges
On July 25, 2023, a Washington state man named Benjamin John Silva was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges for his involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Silva’s actions, along with those of others, disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was convened to count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Silva, 36 years old and resident of Yacolt, Washington, is facing a felony offense of civil disorder, as well as several misdemeanor charges. These misdemeanors include entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings. Silva was arrested in Portland, Oregon, and made his initial appearance in the District of Oregon.
The individual involved in the breach and subsequent arrest is Benjamin John Silva. Silva is 36 years old and resides in Yacolt, Washington.
Silva has been charged with a felony offense of civil disorder. In addition, he is facing several misdemeanor charges. These charges include entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Arrest and Initial Appearance
Benjamin John Silva was arrested in Portland, Oregon. Following his arrest, he made his initial appearance in the District of Oregon.
Description of Defendant’s Actions
According to court documents, Silva was identified as being present among the rioters who were resisting police lines on January 6, 2021, at the tunnel entrance of the Capitol building’s Lower West Terrace. Video footage shows Silva participating in the collective push against the police line formed in the tunnel. Additionally, he can be seen at the front of the police line with his hand placed against an officer’s riot shield.
After exiting the tunnel, Silva’s eyes were closed and tearing, which is a common reaction to being pepper-sprayed. An unknown individual attempted to pour water on Silva’s eyes and face. When asked about his identity and residence, Silva identified himself as Ben Silva from Washington State.
Interaction with Others
Video footage shows an unknown individual pouring water on Silva’s eyes and face after he exited the tunnel. There was also questioning of Silva’s identity and residence by another individual. Silva responded by confirming his name as Ben Silva and stating that he is from Washington State.
Prosecution and Investigation
The case against Benjamin John Silva is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and the District of Oregon have provided valuable assistance in the case.
The investigation into Silva’s actions is being conducted by the FBI’s Seattle and Washington Field Offices. The FBI’s Portland Field Office, U.S. Capitol Police, and Metropolitan Police Department have also provided significant assistance in the investigation.
Scope of Jan. 6 Capitol Breach Investigation
Since January 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested across nearly all 50 states in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Over 350 individuals have been charged specifically with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation into the breach remains ongoing.
Tips and Complaints
Anyone with information or tips related to the events of January 6, 2021, can contact the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or by visiting tips.fbi.gov. It is important to note that a complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants, including Benjamin John Silva, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In conclusion, the arrest and charges against Benjamin John Silva highlight the ongoing investigation into the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. It serves as a reminder of the importance of treating crime victims with compassion, fairness, and respect. Additionally, the commitment to reducing gun crime in America remains a priority for law enforcement agencies nationwide.