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9th Minnesotan charged in connection with Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection

According to the FBI, officials believe Frank Joseph Bratjan Jr., of Eagan, was inside the U.S. Capitol for about a half hour during the riot.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 6. 2021, file photo, people storm the Capitol in Washington. A blistering internal report by the U.S. Capitol Police describes a multitude of missteps that left the force unprepared for the Jan. 6 insurrection — riot shields that shattered upon impact, expired weapons that couldn’t be used, inadequate training and an intelligence division that had few set standards. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

MINNEAPOLIS — Another Minnesotan is facing charges in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

DOJ officials say Frank Joseph Bratjan Jr., a postal worker from Eagan, is charged with four federal criminal counts, including entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

A sworn affidavit filed June 9, 2022 by a member of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Minnesota says the bureau was tipped off about Bratjan's alleged behavior in late January 2021 by a source who said they believed "an individual named Joe" had been involved in the Capitol riot. The source told agents "Joe" took a selfie after breaking into the Capitol and subsequently texted it to his mother. 

The tipster went on to say "Joe" previously lived with his father in Syracuse, New York, alleging he moved in with his mother in Minnesota when officials started to investigate the events of that day. According to court documents, the source provided the FBI with Bratjan's mother's last name and told authorities Bratjan worked at a post office in the Minneapolis area.

Court records say the FBI was able to determine Bratjan's identity after discovering he had a Minnesota driver's license registered to his mother's address, and confirmed Bratjan had previously lived in Syracuse. Authorities say a U.S. Postal Inspector also confirmed Bratjan was an employee at the Eagan office.

Further investigation revealed three separate tips regarding Bratjan's involvement had already been submitted to the FBI. The first three tipsters alleged Bratjan posted his own account and images of the event on social media, which were later deleted, and additionally, discussed the events of that day to others in person.

The FBI says agents were able to identify Bratjan after comparing photos of him on social media to video and photo content captured from inside the Capitol during the riot.

According to the FBI's statement, officials believe Bratjan was inside the Capitol for about a half hour.

A warrant for Bratjan's arrest was filed June 9.

Eight other Minnesotans were also charged in connection with the Capitol assault, with counts ranging from disorderly conduct to assault on a police officer.

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