Capital Region

Glens Falls Capitol riot defendant faces new charges; Schenectady defendant ordered for mental health eval

The man identified as James Bonet as included in Bonet's charging paperwork (inset) The scene Jan. 6 (background) Credit: FBI (Insert) AP (Background)

The man identified as James Bonet as included in Bonet's charging paperwork (inset) The scene Jan. 6 (background) Credit: FBI (Insert) AP (Background)

CAPITAL REGION – A Glens Falls man who worked in Saratoga Springs is facing increased charges related to his alleged role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Meanwhile, a Schenectady man facing his own charges in the insurrection has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after a judge turned back a second prosecution attempt to revoke his bail in the matter.

James Bonet, of Glens Falls, was issued a superseding indictment charging him with six different counts, including a new top charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Washington.

If convicted on that top charge, Bonet could potentially face up to 20 years in prison, according to media reports.

The other charges in the new indictment are 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 in the Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Bonet previously faced four charges.

In the Schenectady resident’s case, Brandon Fellows, 27, a Niskayuna High School graduate, avoided a federal prosecutor’s second attempt to revoke his bail in his Capitol riot case.

A judge last month ordered Fellows back on home detention after prosecutors presented violations of the conditions of his release, including failing to notify those monitoring him of a new misdemeanor petty larceny arrest in Clifton Park.

Federal prosecutors moved to have Fellows’ release revoked again, contending he “left a ‘very disturbing’ voice mail for his supervision officer” that “shows a lack of respect for the court and its personnel, as well as a continued failure to understand the seriousness of the situation.”

He also failed to call in to see if he should report for drug testing seven times from May 7 to May 21 and twice failed to submit a list of job applications. He later remedied the job application issue, prosecutors noted.

Fellows’ attorney opposed the renewed effort to revoke his client’s bail and instead suggested mandating his client participate in mental health services.

The judge in the case Friday declined to revoke Fellows’ bail and instead ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and to comply with all treatment recommendations.

He faces one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting – the same top charge that Bonet now faces – 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.

Interviewed by Bloomberg news service 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.

The investigation into Bonet, who has been described as working in Saratoga Springs, began five days after the riot when a witness told the FBI that Bonet had been present inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. The witness also provided two videos purportedly from Bonet’s Facebook account, according to the original filing in his case.

The witness told the FBI that some of the videos on Bonet’s Facebook account were deleted after posting, including one that appeared to show Bonet smoking a marijuana cigarette inside the Capitol. The FBI later confirmed the account to be Bonet’s.

The filing also included screenshots from the videos, with one titled “Smoking at the capital building” in which Bonet says “Capitol building smoking with all my people!”

Another video records Bonet declaring that his group “made it in the building” and that they’re “taking it back.”

Categories: News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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