FBI Arrests Active-Duty Sailor in Connection with 2021 Capitol Riot

April 4, 2023 12:54 PM
U.S. Capitol on Dec. 29, 2022. USNI News Photo

The FBI arrested an active-duty sailor Monday on charges of entering the Capitol as part of the riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

David Elizalde, of Texas, is an aviation structural mechanic 1st class in the Navy, who is currently detached, according to his official Navy biography. He enlisted in 2007.

Elizalde was arrested in Arlington, Va., according to The Associated Press, which first reported the story. He is charged with one federal count each of entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

He was most recently stationed at the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, Sigonella Department, in Rota, Spain, according to the biography. He was assigned to Rota on Jan. 22, 2021.

He previously served on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) from March 17, 2016 until December 22, 2020. He also served on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) between December 2007 and November 2011.

Elizalde entered the Capitol, taking pictures and video of himself inside and outside of the building, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. Elizalde spoke with NCIS while stationed in Rota and told the investigator that he traveled from Norfolk, where he was stationed as part of Truman‘s crew, to D.C. to participate in the political rally planned for Jan. 6.

Once at the rally, Elizalde followed the crowd to the Capitol, where he then followed the line of rioters into the building, according to the complaint. He was told by a police officer inside the Capitol to leave. Elizalde told the NCIS agent that he was in the building for about 30 seconds and made it about 8-9 feet. He stayed outside of the Capitol because of the historic nature, he told the NCIS agent. He eventually returned to Falls Church, Va., via metro.

NCIS searched Elizalde’s phone and found videos and photos taken by Elizalde inside and outside the building. Elizalde was also identified on security camera footage, according to the complaint.

The criminal complaint was filed and an arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 16. The complaint was sealed until the arrest, according to online court records.

Online records did not indicate if Elizalde was being held on bail or when he would appear for an initial hearing.

So far, Elizalde is one of five active-duty service members arrested for Jan. 6 activities. The other four were active-duty Marines, according to the AP.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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