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Queens Man Eduard Florea Arrested After Allegedly Plotting Another U.S. Capitol Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Queens man who may have been involved in a new plot against the U.S. Capitol is in FBI custody.

His case is one of several investigations into local people, including some who allegedly participated in last week's deadly riot.

Exclusive photo of Queens man Edward Florea arrested by FBI in alleged plot against U.S. Capitol

The NYPD told CBS2 the Queens man has been on the department's radar before. He's now accused of making threats online about the Capitol.

He was identified as 40-year-old Eduard Florea, of Middle Village.

An exclusive photo shows Florea with his hands up as he was being arrested by the FBI in front of his home on Tuesday. Neighbors said he went peacefully into an armored vehicle

"They got him. They put him up against the car and they marched him over," one person said.

READThe complaint against Florea (pdf)

The father of two was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition. The FBI found more than 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, two dozen shotgun rounds, about 75 military style combat knives, hatchets and swords, but no guns. Florea was convicted in 2014 for illegal weapons, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

The software engineer told the FBI he's a supporter of the Proud Boys.

In denying bail, a Brooklyn federal court judge referenced online posts Florea made during after and before the Capitol riot, saying it "reflects a premeditated plan to exact violence against people in New York and people in Washington against United States senators."

The feds say on Jan. 6, he posted on right wing social media, "I will be reaching out to patriots... so we can come up with a game plan. Here in New York we are target rich... got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy."

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

"They took him out, his wife, two children and we saw weapons come out and some laptops," neighbor Larry Gianbalvo told CBS2's John Dias. "I'm not a weapons expert. They weren't small. They were fairly big."

Others who live in the area said they were unnerved by what they saw.

"It's a frightening world out there," one said.

"I think it's a disgrace," Mickey Eberlein added.

Locals speculated that police were staking out Florea's home for four days.

"A black SUV kept on going around the block," one said.

And while no one answered the door to his basement apartment, Florea's next-door neighbors were home. They said he has been a loner for the last four years the family has lived at the residence, adding they never once saw a guest come over.

"They are very quiet. You won't hear him. Kids are not outside," Amalia Gradwolj said.


Florea joins a growing list of local residents who have been arrested for either their role in the Capitol riot or the planning of future plots.

Metro-North employee William Pepe has been charged with knowingly entering a restricted building. He was photographed inside the U.S. Capitol during the riots.

The MTA is in the process of firing Pepe, a 31-year-old laborer who made $73,000 a year and used a sick day to attend the riots, CBS2's Tony Aiello reports.

Watch Alice Gainer's report --

Aaron Mostofsky, the 34-year-old son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, is potentially facing 10 years in prison after photos showed him at the capitol with a police riot shield and bulletproof vest.

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

Thomas Baranyi, a 28-year-old New Jersey man who was seen standing next to a woman who died during the storming of the Capitol, appeared in court in Newark on Wednesday. He is charged with disorderly conduct, Gainer reported.

Every day, more people are located and charged, including Robert Keith Packer, of Virginia, who wore a Camp Auschwitz shirt to the violent protest.

When it comes to making these arrests, CBS News has learned that a recent FBI bulletin warns agencies to use caution and consider the use of SWAT, especially when taking into custody people who wore body armor at the Capitol, using a photo as an example of the arsenal found in one suspect's home.

The FBI is sending a strong message to those who are considering violence in the coming days.

"The FBI will find you, arrest you, and do our part to ensure you face the full force of the federal criminal justice system," Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said Tuesday. "Regardless if it was trespassing on the Capitol or you planted a pipe bomb, you will be charged and you will be found."

So far, more than 100,000 digital tips have been sent to the FBI, and more than 170 investigations are open across the country, with 70 arrests and counting.

"Just the gamut of cases and criminal conduct we're looking at is really mind blowing," Sherwin said.

A flier is being disseminated online and on the streets of New York City, calling for an armed march on all state capitols on Sunday, Dias reported.

"They're openly advocating violence. That in and of itself is a crime," security expert and former FBI agent Manny Gomez told CBS2. "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."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state police said there will be increased security at the state capitol.

In Westchester and across the region, governments have been told to step up security at office buildings and courthouses.

"We're gonna have to be more diligent about that. There are people out there, for whatever their reasons, who mean to do other Americans harm," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer called for the FBI to add all those involved in the riot to the "no-fly" list. The FBI said it's actively looking to do so.

There are also new allegations that some members of Congress aided in the Capitol breach.

"Those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5, a reconnaissance for the next day," New Jersey. Rep. Mikie Sherrill said.

Sherrill and more than 30 members of Congress have signed a letter requesting an investigation, saying the tours they saw were so suspicious and concerning they were reported that day, Jan. 5, to the sergeant-at-arms.

"This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic," the letter says.

CBS2's John Dias, Alice Gainer and Tony Aiello contributed to this report


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