Tampa man who took selfie in Senate chamber during Capitol riot facing several federal charges

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa man who federal officials say was seen in photos and video from inside the U.S. Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 insurrection by a mob of Trump supporters has been charged with multiple federal crimes.

According to an FBI Statement of Facts, 38-year-old Paul Allard Hodgkins appears in a video recorded by a reporter from The New Yorker magazine during the riot that left at least five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

In photographs attached to federal documents on his case, Hodgkins is seen with a group of people in the “well” of the Senate chamber holding a red flag with the “Trump 2020” slogan written in white letters. He is standing feet away from Jacob Chansley, the man dubbed the “Q Shaman,” who dressed in fur and horns and was seen leading a crowd inside the U.S. Capitol.

Federal court records show Hodgkins was arrested in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida on Feb. 16. He is represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office. Federal prosecutors charged Hodgkins with obstructing official proceeding, unlawful entry to a restricted building, impeding or disrupting official functions and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.

(Photo from FBI Statement of Facts/Complaint via GWU)

According to the complaint for Hodgkins’ case, FBI agents received a tip from a confidential witness who shared a selfie-style image of him from the far-right-friendly social networking application Parler.

The selfie-style photo shows a man with long black hair, a black mustache and a beard wearing a dark t-shirt with “Trump” in white letters standing in the well of the Senate chamber. He appears to have a pair of protective eye goggles under his chin.

The confidential witness said he personally knows Hodgkins, but they had not spoken in several years. He said he received the image from a friend of a friend.

An FBI agent compared the selfie photo to Hodgkins’ Florida driver’s license picture and found they appeared to be the same person.

Hodgkins’ criminal complaint was posted by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism that is tracking all of the criminal cases for the defendants charged in connection to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

FBI investigators say they also obtained closed-circuit security footage from Jan. 6 showing Hodgkins walking around Senate chamber wearing his goggles and taking photos with his cell phone. At one point, the video shows Hodgkins putting on what look like white latex gloves while standing near a desk.

(Photo from FBI Statement of Facts/Complaint via GWU)

According to criminal complaint, Hodgkins told FBI agents during an interview on Jan. 26 that he traveled alone by bus from Florida to Washington, D.C. He admitted to the agents that he was the person in the selfie photo and another image from the Senate floor during the Capitol riot, the complaint says.

“According to Hodgkins, he saw other people around him breaking windows, individuals engaged in a knife fight, and other injured individuals, but Hodgkins did not know those individuals or participate in the conduct,” an FBI agent wrote in the complaint.

Court records show Hodgkins was released on $25,000 unsecured bond with several conditions including surrendering his firearms and passport and a curfew to stay at home from 1:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A Zoom hearing with the federal judge in Washington, D.C. is scheduled for Wednesday in Hodgkins’ case.

Online records show Hodgkins has been a registered Republican voter in Hillsborough County since May 2016.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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