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FBI: Surveillance video, tips, cell phone data led to Capitol riot charges against St. Charles man

Surveillance photos, cell phone data and tips helped identify Jonas Buxton as a participant in the insurrection, the FBI said.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Charles man is the latest local suspect charged with participating in the riot inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Jonas Buxton was arrested Thursday in St. Charles. He’s charged with the following offenses:

  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building

Two tips submitted online helped FBI investigators identify Buxton as one of the people who entered the Capitol during the insurrection.

The first tipster shared information on Jan. 31. Their friend’s husband is related to Buxton, the FBI said. The friend said they overheard their husband on a phone call with another family member talking about Buxton’s possible involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Another online tip came in a couple weeks later. The person said they know Buxton worked at a store in St. Charles, “but after the FBI announced arrests associated with the Capitol riot, Buxton quit his job, disappeared, and went into hiding,” court records state.

An FBI special agent assigned to the case continued to investigate the allegations, including tracking where Buxton’s cell phone was the afternoon of the riot. The agent said Google data obtained in March showed a phone number associated with the St. Charles man was inside the Capitol during the time of the insurrection. A map of the phone’s movements even shows where inside the Capitol the phone was registering.

Credit: FBI

The investigation progressed in April when the FBI said Buxton flew back to the U.S. from Panama City, Panama. A Customs and Border Protection officer stopped him for a secondary search, which included a closer look at the contents on his cell phone.

The FBI agent said the customs officer confirmed his cell phone number and also found several photos of Buxton wearing tactical gear with a "Trump" patch in the center – a detail that would prove useful later in the investigation. The officer also discovered a letter from the Three Percenters with a “call to action” for a Washington, D.C. gathering on Jan. 6.

Credit: FBI
Credit: FBI

In August, the FBI obtained surveillance video from inside the Capitol. Using Buxton’s driver’s license photo, photos seen on his cell phone and the Google data of when and where his cell phone was located inside the Capitol, the special agent was able to find Buxton in a crowd of people inside the building.

“The results of the query verified that the individual in the CCTV footage appears to be Buxton based upon government records. The query identified the subject as Jonas Buxton. Buxton was identified on multiple cameras throughout the Capitol,” court records state.

Credit: FBI
Credit: FBI

The photos of Buxton wearing the tactical vest with the “Trump” patch in the center helped investigators identify him in the video. He also was carrying a bright yellow flag.

Buxton is at least the 18th Missouri resident to have been charged with participating in the riot. Five have now pleaded guilty, according to the AP this week.

On Monday, Paul Westover, a 53-year-old man from Lake St. Louis, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. In exchange for his plea, one felony charge and three other misdemeanors were dismissed, the Kansas City Star reported.

Westover was quickly identified in a viral video from inside the Capitol by St. Louis social media users who first noticed the Blues hat he wore while holding up part of the broken signage from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

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