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Two Capitol riot defendants sought by FBI after disappearing

A federal judge issued bench warrants for the arrest of Olivia Pollock and Joseph Hutchinson III after the court was notified that they had tampered with or removed their ankle monitors

US Capitol
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of Donald Trump riot in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington January 6, 2021.Leah Millis (REUTERS)

The FBI is searching for a Florida woman who was supposed to stand trial Monday on charges stemming from the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack as well as another riot defendant who has also gone missing, officials said. A federal judge in Washington issued bench warrants for the arrest of Olivia Pollock and Joseph Hutchinson III last week after the court was notified that they had tampered with or removed the ankle monitors that track their location, said Joe Boland, a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s Lakeland, Florida office.

Boland said the FBI has recovered one of the defendants’ ankle monitors after they removed it, but declined to say whether it was Pollock’s or Hutchinson’s. As of Monday afternoon, the FBI had not located either of them, he said.

Olivia Pollock, of Lakeland, is the sister of another January 6 defendant, Jonathan Pollock, who has been on the lam for months. The FBI has offered a reward of up $30,000 in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her brother, who is accused of assaulting multiple police officers during the riot.

Olivia Pollock and Joseph Hutchinson were initially arrested in 2021 and charged in a five-person indictment with assaulting law enforcement and other crimes. Hutchinson is representing himself at trial, and an attorney appointed to assist him as standby counsel declined to comment on Monday.

Olivia Pollock’s lawyer, Elita Amato, said Monday that her client “had been diligently assisting in her defense for her upcoming trial prior to her disappearance.”

Authorities encouraged anyone with information about their whereabouts to contact the FBI.

Olivia Pollock, who was wearing a ballistic plate-carrier vest during the riot, is accused of elbowing an officer in the chest and trying to strip the officer’s baton away during the melee. Jonathan Pollock is accused of thrusting a riot shield into an officer’s face and throat, pulling an officer down steps and punching others.

Authorities say Hutchinson pulled back a fence that allowed other rioters to swarm police trying to defend the Capitol, punched an officer and grabbed the sleeve of another before throwing the officer out of his way.

Hutchinson, who now lives in Georgia, was scheduled to face trial in August. The judge on Monday rescheduled Olivia Pollock’s trial for August as well.

Also on Monday, a Colorado man pleaded guilty on to using a chemical spray to attack police officers who were trying to hold off the mob.

Robert Gieswein, of Woodland Park, Colorado, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 9. Estimated sentencing guidelines for Gieswein recommend a prison sentence ranging from three years and five months to four years and three months, according to his plea agreement.

Gieswein was wearing a helmet, flak jacket and goggles and carrying a baseball bat when he stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He marched to the building from the Washington Monument with members of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group.

Gieswein repeatedly sprayed an “aerosol irritant” at police officers, pushed against a line of police and was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol, according to a court filing accompanying his guilty plea to assault charges.

Federal authorities have said Gieswein appeared to be an adherent of the Three Percenters militia movement and ran a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs.

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