Schenectady

Schenectady man accused in Capitol riot ordered transported to Washington — in custody

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 accused of participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been ordered transported to Washington, D.C., to face accusations he violated his release in the riot case, including by calling his probation officer’s mother.

A federal judge in Albany Wednesday ruled that Brandon Fellows would be transported, rather than released and allowed to travel on his own.

In doing so, the judge indicated he did not believe Fellows’ explanations for his conduct — including that he simply sought the officer’s number and inadvertently found one for the officer’s out-of-state mother.

“Successful supervision requires cooperation and compliance of the Defendant. Mr. Fellows has not provided that, and his conduct to date has been both boorish and alarming,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart wrote in his decision issued Wednesday. “Probation officers in this district, and others, are professionals, but there is certainly a limit to the type of conduct those officers should be subjected to … it appears a limit has been reached in this case.”

Fellows was taken into custody on June 15 on allegations he violated his release in the Capitol case. He has remained in custody since.

Federal prosecutors allege most recently that Fellows, 27, skipped a court-ordered mental health evaluation and then obtained the phone number of his supervising probation officer’s mother, called her and spoke with her.

Fellows, a Niskayuna High School graduate, faces multiple charges related to the riot, including a top count of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, a charge that carries a potential of years in federal prison upon conviction.

The Capitol case is based in Washington and he must appear there to address the ultimate question of whether he will again be released, or be held pending trial.

There was no indication Thursday when his appearance in Washington would be held.

Fellows had been allowed to remain free since his January arrest but under increasingly restrictive conditions. Federal prosecutors twice before asked for his release to be revoked. A judge disagreed both times, but first ordered him under home detention and then, June 4, ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and comply with all treatment recommendations.

However, prosecutors reported in a new motion on June 14 that he not only skipped the mental health evaluation but attempted to intimidate his supervising probation officer by contacting the officer’s mother.

Fellows’ mental health evaluation had been set for late Monday morning, according to the prosecution’s motion. Fellows, however, called and canceled, contending he wasn’t feeling well. Filings since have indicated his alleged reason: An early-morning thunderstorms had his sleep schedule off.

The probation officer then denied his next request, to work that day. Fellows responded by asking the officer if she had “checked your hormones,” according to filings.
The judge’s ruling also referenced allegations of “numerous inappropriate statements” made by him to his probation officer “which include sexually explicit statements and large doses of profanity.”
“Such statements included discussion of his sexual performance abilities; description of his genital size; expression of displeasure that he is required to reside with his mother and that ‘I want my [expletive] bus,'” the judge highlighted, noting Fellows formerly lived out of a converted school bus, “expletives; and, most significantly, ‘I can’t wait for these bullies to have what they are dishing out come back to them,’ ‘The way they are treating me is like that of a terrorist. My own home country … they should try different tactics … this kind of treatment would tempt people most people to be radicalized. I’m not saying that’s me. …'”
The judge noted the ordered mental health evaluation has not happened and indicated that Fellows’ mental health care “is every bit as important as his work opportunities, and quite possibly more.”
The judge also responded to Fellows’ explanation of his innocence when he called the officer’s mother, was that he had a faulty phone and was simply trying to find a contact number for the officer, not her mother. Fellows had multiple ways to find the correct number, including a simple Google search for the U.S. probation office in Albany. He also noted similar allegations against Fellows related to a judge in a prior town court case.
With that, the judge found no conditions could be set to ensure Fellows’ compliance and ordered him transferred in custody to Washington to appear before the judge there.

He faces one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting 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 marijuana 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.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would be creating a select committee to investigate the assault on the U.S. Capitol back on Jan. 6, according to reports.

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

One Comment

Gazette….thanks for posting this very important story! I hope he gets the death penalty. Propping his feet up on a Senators table and smoking a joint! Then posting a video of the crime. We dodged a bullet this time. The republic almost fell.

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