JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Clay County residents appeared handcuffed and shackled before a federal judge Tuesday on charges connected to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to confirm the Electoral College votes that put Joe Biden in the White House.
Rachael Lynn Pert, 40, and Dana Joe Winn, 45, surrendered to the FBI earlier Tuesday prior to appearing before Magistrate Judge James Klindt on charges of 1) unlawful entry on restricted building or ground, and 2) violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
After the hearing, the couple was released on several conditions, including wearing ankle monitors, agreeing to live apart, promising not to return to the Washington, D.C., area unless they have a court appearance there and promising not to use alcohol or drugs.
Pert’s co-worker at a convenience store in Middleburg recognized her from a flyer of images of intruders at the Capitol building and tipped off investigators, who also found social media videos of her and Winn traveling to Washington, according to court records.
Court records show a search executed Jan. 19 at the home Pert and Winn share in Middleburg turned up a variety of items, including clothing matching what was seen in the flyer photos from the Capitol, other items they had in the photos, and an American flag that Pert and Winn said they found on the Capitol grounds during the riots.
The couple literally ran from the federal courthouse after their release Tuesday. They refused to comment.
On Friday, the couple will be back in court, where they will before a District of Columbia judge via Zoom.
Both Pert and Winn have previous arrests in Clay County.
NO COMMENT: A Middleburg couple accused of rushing the Capitol sprinted out of the federal courthouse, refusing to comment about their arrest. @wjxt4 https://t.co/B3P0zp4pbP pic.twitter.com/HKuI49JZwV— Corley Peel (@WJXT_CorleyPeel) January 27, 2021
There are now 10 Florida residents on the U.S. Department of Justice list of those facing charges as a result of violence at the Capitol and most of those had incriminating posts on social media.
Like Bradley Weeks, 43, was seen on video both outside and inside the Capitol building but was released Thursday on a $5,000 bond he won’t have to pay anything if he follows restrictions ordered by the judge.
Then there is 37-year-old Joseph Biggs. The FBI said Biggs is a Proud Boy organizer who was also seen inside the Capitol and was released Wednesday under home confinement.
Attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with either case, said the court automatically considers everyone for release.
“If they don’t have a record, and it appears that they’re going to appear back in court and or a non-threat to the community, many of those folks are being released on their own recognizance or on a non-monetary bond,” said Nichols.
He said everyone has different restriction conditions based on their alleged actions at the Capitol.
For instance, Weeks had to give his guns to a family member, wear a tracking device, and can’t have contact with anyone he went to Washington D.C. with.
News4Jax asked Nichols if the restrictions are enough.
“If there is language that is being used in social media sites if there’s a history of this person being involved in an organization. that’s where you’re going to see the differences between these bond conditions,” he explained.
Nichols said it’s never easy for judges to decide bonds for individuals because they must consider if the person could be a threat to the community while balancing that person’s right to be innocent until proven guilty.
The FBI is still taking tips and looking to identify participants in the riots.
There are a few people in Florida we know agencies are looking into.
Nicholas said their criminal charges will be addressed in Washington D.C., and that soon indictments will come down from grand jury investigations for potential homicide charges.
Also, charges of sedition and insurrection can bring on higher bond amounts and jail time before going to trial.