Schenectady County

Schenectady man accused in Capitol riot placed back on home detention after release infractions, new arrest

Brandon Fellows (inset) and supporters of President Donald Trump outside the Capitol Jan. 6.  FBI (INSET) AP PHOTO/JOHN MINCHILLO (BACKGROUND)

Brandon Fellows (inset) and supporters of President Donald Trump outside the Capitol Jan. 6.  

ALBANY – The Schenectady man arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot has been placed back on home detention after he was accused of violating conditions of his release, including failing to notify those monitoring him of a new misdemeanor petty larceny arrest in Clifton Park, records show.

Federal prosecutors had sought to have Brandon C. Fellows’ release fully revoked due to the items cited, but a federal judge last week instead placed him on home confinement, increased from prior conditions that included GPS monitoring and a curfew.

The change in Fellows’ release status also came after federal prosecutors gave glimpses in filings of the evidence they hope to use against Fellows, including Capitol surveillance footage that prosecutors described as showing Fellows entering the Capitol building during the riot and body camera footage from a police officer.

Fellows, 27, a 2012 Niskayuna High School graduate, faces a five-count indictment, four misdemeanors and a felony, in connection with the riot.

He faces one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in certain rooms of the Capitol building; and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

After his January arrest, Fellows was initially placed on home confinement and electronic monitoring. But after his indictment, the judge relaxed his release conditions Feb. 3 to eliminate the home confinement and instead substitute a 9 p.m. curfew.

Federal prosecutors last week, however, moved to have Fellows sent to jail pending trial. They cited a May 5 report from Pretrial Services, the entity monitoring him, which cited “numerous violations” of his release.

The report indicated he twice failed to comply with curfew where he gave excuses. In one instance, he told the officer he had left a message that he was running late, but no record of the message existed, the prosecution filing reads. He also twice failed to report to the officer as directed, the filing read.

Among his release obligations was also to report any new contacts with law enforcement or arrests as soon as possible. The prosecution filing notes he was given an appearance ticket for petty larceny with an appearance date set for Wednesday of this week. He was arrested on that charge April 28.

“Similar to his initial arrest by the FBI in [the federal] matter, the defendant told the New York State Police officer that he would meet the officer to be processed on March 8, 2021, but failed to show up,” the federal prosecutor wrote. “The defendant only turned himself in after the officer contacted him again April 28.”

Judge Trevor N. McFadden held a status conference on the federal prosecutor’s motion May 6 and declined the request to revoke Fellows’ release entirely. Instead, the judge added the home detention, which requires Fellows to stay at his residence at all times, except for specific activities, including court appearances. He was also ordered to provide employment verification.

The federal prosecutor’s filing did not detail the petty larceny charges against Fellows further, but police accusations filed in Clifton Park Town Court indicate the time frame of the new accusations actually wraps around the Capitol riot.

Fellows, who has previously been identified in federal court as a chimney sweep, is accused of taking $700 in cash from a Clifton Park couple to do repair work on their chimney but he failed to do the work as agreed.

He is accused of taking the couple’s money Dec. 28, just nine days before he is accused of participating in the Capitol riot, according to the filing.

Fellows had told the couple he’d start work once he got the supplies, then on Jan. 11 indicated he had the supplies and would complete the job Jan. 14. That day came, but he indicated he had car troubles, the couple told investigators later.

They tried again to reach him Jan. 17, which happened to be the day after Fellows was arrested in the Capitol riot. Further attempts by the couple to reach Fellows were unsuccessful and, by Jan. 31, they had gone to the state police. The federal riot case is not referenced in the petty larceny documents.

Fellows’ initial appearance in the petty larceny case was scheduled for Wednesday evening in Clifton Park. Court officials indicated Thursday he made his appearance as directed and is due back later this month. No attorney was listed for him Thursday.

Interviewed by Bloomberg after the riot, Fellows told the publication he drove to Washington after seeing a tweet from then President Donald Trump and said he went just to hear the president speak.

Bloomberg reported that Fellows not only went into the Capitol with the rioters, but propped his feet on a senator’s table while smoking a joint, heckled officers and posted videos online. It appears he was in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon. A photograph also shows him sitting on a police motorcycle outside the Capitol wearing a fake red beard.

Federal prosecution filings since Fellows’ arrest and given to his defense give a general accounting of evidence.

Among the evidence turned over: Police body camera footage from an officer; a cell site search warrant; witness interviews; a subpoena to Apple; a Facebook search warrant; and Capitol Police surveillance footage of Fellows entering the building through a window by the Senate doors.

Fellows’ federal public defender could not be reached for comment.

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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