NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Social media posts led federal agents to identify a second Tennessee resident believed to be involved in the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Matthew Bledsoe was arrested Friday in the Memphis area. He was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
A federal warrant reveals FBI agents received a tip that Bledsoe, a Tennessee resident, was part of the group that entered the Capitol illegally. The bureau explained a “video compilation” posted to Bledsoe’s Instagram account included several selfie photographs and videos depicting his involvement.
The warrant alleges Bledsoe’s photos and videos showed the crowd approach the U.S. Capitol building and a selfie of the Tennessee man that appeared to look out from the Capitol onto the lawn.
The videos also included a clip of Bledsoe and his companions outside the exterior door of the Capitol, where an alarm could be heard in the background, according to federal investigators. One of his companions reportedly says, “we’re going in” as Bledsoe shows the door and says, “in the Capitol. This is our house. We pay for this s***. Where’s those pieces of s*** at?”
Bledsoe passes through the outer door of the Capitol and into the hallway in one video, as a crowd marches through chanting, “stop the steal! Stop the steal,” the warrant states.
The FBI said they also observed a since-deleted post from Bledsoe’s wife on Facebook, where she wrote, “Matt was inside the Capitol, he was one of the first… my husband is a Patriot soldier.”
An initial court appearance for Bledsoe was scheduled for Friday afternoon in a Memphis federal courtroom.
Bledsoe is the second Tennessee resident to be arrested and charged in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Eric Munchel, a Nashville man who became known as “Zip Tie Guy,” was arrested last weekend in Davidson County on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.