By Kevin Deutsch
A Coral Springs man awaiting sentencing for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots brought a Glock handgun along on his trip to Washington, D.C., and told the FBI he was “in the bathroom pooping when the violence occurred,” federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.
Felipe Marquez, 25, pleaded guilty Sept. 10 to Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, a misdemeanor. He faces up to one year in jail, probation, and a fine for damaging property in the Capitol building during his Dec. 10 sentencing.
In a sentencing memo filed in federal court Thursday, prosecutors said they would seek a sentence of four months jail time for Marquez, plus one year of supervised release and a $500 fine. The government previously agreed to drop a series of additional charges against Marquez in exchange for his guilty plea.
“The defendant, Felipe Marquez, participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol—a violent attack that forced an interruption of the certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential election, injured more than one hundred law enforcement officers, and resulted in more than one million dollars of property damage,” prosecutors wrote in their memo.
Marquez attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before breaching and illegally walking around inside the Capitol Building during the failed insurrection, recording himself while inside a “hideaway” office of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D), and sitting at the senator’s conference table with other rioters, court records show.
With dozens of other members of the mob, Marquez had physically entered the Capitol building through the Senate Wing Door, which the mob breached just seconds earlier, prosecutors said. A line of police officers had been physically keeping the mob back, but they eventually overpowered the officers by pushing them backward, prosecutors said in Marquez’s sentencing memo.
“A line of Capitol Police officers had already mustered to prevent the mob from penetrating further into the building. But Marquez was not deterred. Within two minutes, he pushed to the front of the crowd, coming within inches of the officers,” prosecutors wrote.
Marquez spent about 53 minutes inside the Capitol itself after driving from Florida to Washington, D.C., with a Glock pistol in his Tesla, “though he apparently did not remove it from the car while in Washington, D.C.,” prosecutors wrote.
“Marquez admitted to driving to Washington, D.C., with his Glock firearm, but says he left the firearm disassembled in a locked case in his car when he was at the Capitol so as to comply with local laws,” prosecutors wrote.
During the rioting inside the Capitol Building, Marquez recorded video of himself repeatedly asking police officers for a “fist bump.”
“He even tapped an officer—who understandably had more important duties to attend to—on the arm to get the officer’s attention,” prosecutors wrote.
Once in Merkley’s office, Marquez took video of himself holding “his vape pen up to the camera, as if to capture the arrogance of the rioters (himself included) smoking in a senator’s office during an Electoral College certification proceeding to formally elect the next President of the United States,” according to the sentencing memo.
The trail of destruction and looting. What happened today was an assault by the domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol, but it was also an assault on our constitution.
[sound on] pic.twitter.com/BrELF7cMz1
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 7, 2021
After the FBI caught up with Marquez, he told agents he’d “spent a considerable amount of time in the bathroom” while inside the Capitol.
“The government does not have information to confirm or dispute this assertion,” prosecutors wrote.
Among the statements Marquez made to FBI agents, according to prosecutors:
– “I wanted to show my support.”
– “I think communists are trying to gain influence in the U.S. government.”
– “I went there to protest communism and prostitution.”
– “I was upset by violence.”
– “I was in the bathroom pooping when the violence occurred.”
Despite his likely heading to a federal detention facility, Marquez has not treated his case with the appropriate seriousness, prosecutors said in their memo.
As an example, they cited a court order banning Marquez from possessing any firearms, which he ran “an end-run around.”
“During a home inspection on Oct. 26, 2021, Pretrial Services found that Marquez had signed over all firearms to his roommate,” prosecutors wrote. “This suggests that Marquez did not take this Court’s order seriously, as he was supposed to have relinquished his firearms in January upon his arrest and…appears to be an end-run around what the government and this Court were concerned about: Marquez having ready access to firearms.”
Prosecutors said Marquez showed up on law enforcement’s radar again on Aug. 6 at the Coral Square Mall.
“While pending his involvement in this very case, an officer with the Coral Springs Police Department stopped Marquez at the Coral Square Mall,” according to the memo.
“According to the police report, mall security called the police for a suspicious person because Marquez was at the mall with a black plastic firearms case with the word GLOCK written on it,” prosecutors wrote. “ The police officer wrote that when he ‘encountered the subject [Marquez], subject confirmed that he has a weapon on him and that his CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) license was suspended. Subject had admitted that carrying a weapon in a public place such as a mall is inappropriate, but he did it as a sign of protest for suspension of his CCW.’ Marquez then left the mall voluntarily.”
Prosecutors said Marquez’s “continued possession of a firearm and/or access to a firearm while on release, in this case, shows that he does not appreciate the severity and dangerousness of his actions.”
“Walking around a mall with an obvious firearm in a case, while on pretrial release for a felony offense, demonstrates both poor judgment and potential danger to the community,” they wrote. “There is a need for specific deterrence here because Marquez’s actions even after arrest do not indicate that he appreciates the severity of his criminal conduct.”
According to the government, more than 500 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riots, including some in a wide-ranging conspiracy involving the Oath Keepers extremist group.
Most of the riot participants sentenced so far have received sentences well below the maximum penalties.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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