Member of Washington state Proud Boys charged in connection with January 6 riot in National Capitol

Friday, February 5, 2021

Many insurrectionists posed for photos


WASHINGTON STATE — A member of the Proud Boys, a nationalist organization, was arrested Tuesday and charged in federal court in the District of Columbia with obstructing or impeding an official proceeding, among other charges.

Ethan Nordean, aka Rufio Panman, 30, of Washington state (south King county), was charged by criminal complaint in federal court in the District of Columbia with obstructing or impeding an official proceeding, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; aiding and abetting, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and knowingly entering or remaining in restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, which each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. 

Nordean appeared in federal court in the Western District of Washington.

According to charging documents, Nordean is the self-described “Sergeant of Arms” of the Seattle Chapter of the Proud Boys, a group self-described as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.”


It is alleged that Nordean was observed marching at the front of a group of known Proud Boys shortly before the riot began. It is further alleged that Nordean was among those who entered the U.S. Capitol building after rioters, including certain persons associated with the Proud Boys, forced entry into the Capitol by means of destruction of Federal property. It is also alleged that Nordean was near the front of the crowd of rioters, who collectively approached, confronted, and vastly outnumbered Capitol Police.

On Jan. 8, 2021, Nordean posted a photo on social media of a U.S. Capitol Police officer administering pepper spray on Jan. 6, 2021, with the following caption: “if you feel bad for the police, you are part of the problem. . .”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason B.A. McCullough and James B. Nelson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Taryn Meeks of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Western District of Washington. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance by the FBI’s Seattle Division.

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at https://tips.fbi.gov/



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