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FBI investigation leads to arrest of Sylva man

Federal agents have arrested and charged a Jackson County man in connection to his role into the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

Lewis Easton Cantwell was arrested and charged after storming the capitol, destroying property, refusing to leave, and interfering with police. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Asheville today, February 19.

Cantwell operates a business in Sylva and during the riot posted a video to his social media account. He made several posts defending his actions, which he ultimately deleted.

His official charges include: 

Civil disorder

Obstruction of an official proceeding

Entering and remaining in a restricted building and grounds

Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building and grounds

Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol building and grounds

Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building

Cantwell is the fourth person from North Carolina charged with participating in the Capitol riots.

Ten people—9 men and 1 woman—have been added to the agency’s most-wanted list in relation to the riot.

Known only as No. 229 through No. 238, these 10 are all wanted on suspicion of assaulting federal law enforcement personnel. The crime carries penalties ranging from one to 20 years in prison

Federal prosecutors are continuing to charge participants in the violence that erupted after thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered on January 6 to protest the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Last month, Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin said: “The scope and scale of this investigation in these cases are really unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history.”

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