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caption: Federal prosecutors say this image shows Ethan Nordean in a crowd of Proud Boys who participated in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
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Federal prosecutors say this image shows Ethan Nordean in a crowd of Proud Boys who participated in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Credit: Image from charging documents

Seattle-area Proud Boy ordered to return to D.C. for Capitol riot hearing

Ethan Nordean, a self-described member of the extremist group the Proud Boys, has been ordered to return to Washington, D.C. to appear in court for his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot.

Nordean, facing multiple federal charges, must also remain in police custody until his trial hearing later this month.

On Monday, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned a Seattle magistrate judge’s decision to release Nordean on bond. Judge Brian Tsuchida in Seattle originally granted Nordean release with multiple conditions including that Nordean stay at his home in King County. Tsuchida even joked that Nordean would have to get pizza delivered to him and he couldn’t go out and get it himself. But hours later that ruling was stayed with Nordean ordered to remain in jail and be transported back to Washington, D.C. to face trial.

According to the Department of Justice Nordean is facing multiple charges including obstructing or impeding an official proceeding. Altogether Nordean could face more than 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Nordean was seen marching at the front of a group of Proud Boys at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, shortly before the riot began, and entered the U.S. Capitol building.

It is also alleged that Nordean posted videos on social media prior to the riot requesting money to purchase “protective gear” and “communications equipment.” During a Zoom detention hearing Monday, Nordean acknowledged that he is the person identified in the charges.

During Monday’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jehiel Baer argued Nordean is a flight risk and should remain in the custody of law enforcement until trial. Baer said when police searched Nordean’s home they found two passports on his dresser – one for his wife and the other for another man. Nordean’s lawyer, Corey Endo, countered that the other passport belongs to Nordean’s wife’s ex-partner from three years ago. Prosecutors also said Nordean, who is unemployed and lives rent-free in a house owned by his parents, does not have any financial obligations to stay in the United States.

Despite granting Nordean’s request to return home, Tsuchida predicted what would soon happen: that the Department of Justice would appeal and Nordean would stay in jail.

Nordean will now be transported back to Washington D.C. for his trial hearing on February 15. He is among a range of people arrested in the wake of the January 6 incident at the Capitol Building and who now face charges, including Joe Biggs who is known in the Northwest for organizing Proud Boys demonstrations in Portland.