Watch CBS News

FBI: Aaron Mostofsky, Son Of Brooklyn Judge, Arrested For Storming U.S. Capitol Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The FBI and Department of Justice provided an update Tuesday afternoon on their investigation into last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

They announced there have been 70 arrests so far and hundreds more are expected over the next few weeks.

Tuesday night, the FBI searched a man's home in Queens after he allegedly sought an armed caravan to go to Washington.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force is holding 40-year-old Edward Florea, of Middle Village, on weapons charges after he allegedly wrote online that he is a member of the Proud Boys and wanted to arm people to travel to Washington.

Police say Florea has been on the NYPD's radar before, CBS2's Ali Bauman reports.

Earlier in the day, the son of a Brooklyn judge was also taken into custody at his brother's home in the borough and a Metro-North worker was arrested, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

WEB EXTRA: Read the criminal complaint (pdf)

The agencies said more than 170 case files have been opened and they've received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media related to last week's violence in Washington D.C.

The son of a Brooklyn judge has been arrested for his role in last week\\\'s crisis at the U.S. Capitol Building. (Credit: FBI)

"We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy," Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said.

PHOTOS: FBI Searching For Suspects Who Stormed U.S. Capitol Building

Calling it a 24/7 operation, the FBI and DOJ continue to urge people to come forward with tips and expect hundreds more people to be charged.

"We're looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation," Sherwin said.

MORE: NYPD, FDNY Investigating Whether Any Of Their Members Participated In Storming U.S. Capitol Building

As for intelligence prior to Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riot, the Washington Post is reporting that an FBI report was issued internally warning of "war" at the Capitol.

The notice highlighted an online thread that read in part, "Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled."

The memo said, "Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die."

"We had no indication information was linked to any specific person, but this was a matter of an online discussion," FBI Washington Field Office ADIC Steven D'Antuono said.

The FBI said the information was shared with all levels of law enforcement.

As for any action taken, the agency said one person was arrested the night before, while others had travel disrupted.


Among those arrested Tuesday was 34-year-old Aaron Mostofsky of Brooklyn, a son of Kings County Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky.

Aaron Mostofsky was seen on cellphone video inside the Capitol wearing fur pelts and carrying a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield and a police officer's bulletproof vest.

If convicted, theft of that government property could land him in prison for 10 years.

Aaron Mostofsky faced a federal judge Tuesday afternoon and was also charged with unlawful entry of a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds with intent to impede government activity.

Also Tuesday afternoon, Metro-North worker Will Pepe was arrested. He was seen in a photo at the Capitol. He had called into work sick that day and has since been suspended.

"Participation in the riot which resulted in deadly violence at the Capitol last week was abhorrent to the values of the MTA and New Yorkers, and those who attacked that symbol of American democracy disqualified themselves from working for the People of New York. Mr. Pepe is entitled to due process and was suspended last week as part of that process. We are cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies in their investigation and prosecution of those involved," MTA Communications Director Tim Minton said in a statement.

Watch Alice Gainer's report --

Klete Keller, a former U.S. Olympic swimmer, is also believed to have been in the crowd, reportedly seen in a video wearing his team jacket with "USA" printed on the back.

"Regardless if it was a trespass on the Capitol or if someone planted a pipe bomb, you will be charged and you will be found," Sherwin said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer added his voice to calls by some lawmakers for the FBI to add all of those who entered the Capitol last week to the "no fly" list.

"These individuals are a threat to the homeland as defined by the law," Schumer said.

When asked about that, the FBI said it's investigating.

Schumer also said lawmakers were receiving another briefing Tuesday afternoon on security for inauguration day.

A spokesperson for Judge Shlomo Mostofsky said he declined comment on his son's arrest.

Military troops now guard the D.C. Capitol, and members of Congress were briefed Tuesday on extremists' plots to surround the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court to block Democrats from taking control.

A flier is being disseminated online and on the streets in New York City, calling for an armed march on all state Capitols on Jan. 17.

"They're openly advocating violence. That in and of itself is a crime," said security expert and former FBI agent Manny Gomez. "All local city and federal law enforcement should be ready and on standby and have a plan and have leaders that will enforce that plan."

Cuomo and state police say there will be increased security at the state capitol.

Meanwhile, three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus, and they're blaming certain Republicans who refused to wear masks in lockdown, even when offered one, during the crisis at the Capitol.

"I want them to move away from their stupidity and their defiance and their arrogance," Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, of South Jersey, told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

She tweeted on her doctor's advice, she went to a hospital for monoclonal antibody treatment.

Congresswoman Premila Jayapal called out those who "not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one."

The two tested positive after reportedly receiving the first dose of the vaccine. CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez says the initial dose gives about 50% protection.

"And it takes at least a couple of weeks to really significantly ramp up that immunity," he said. "It's perfectly conceivable that she could have gotten COVID from that exposure."

CBS2's Alice Gainer, Ali Bauman and Jessica Layton contributed to this report

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.