As the federal noose of special counsel Jack Smith tightens on former President Donald Trump in regard to his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, the FBI continues to arrest Trump minions who stormed the Capitol in support of lies he is still spewing on the campaign trail.
The latest was a Maryland man taken into custody in Trafford on Wednesday on a federal warrant issued two days earlier out of Washington, D.C.
The circumstances of the arrest or why Stephen Ondulich was in Trafford weren’t clear, but he was arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Pittsburgh on charges of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, parading in the building and similar offenses.
According to an FBI affidavit out of Baltimore, agents first became aware of Ondulich shortly after the Jan. 6 insurrection when the bureau received a tip from an Instagram poster that Ondulich had admitted to participating in the Capitol breach.
In response to the witness’s post, Ondulich said he and the rest of the Trump mob were “not deranged thugs like the black people” involved in the Black Lives Matter riots.
“We are patriots,” he said. “And we took our house.”
The tipster shared that post with the FBI after a phone interview on March 1, 2022. Instagram records showed that the username “ondulich787” was associated with an email and phone number, and Google records indicated that phone was active at the Capitol on Jan. 6 near the West Terrace.
The FBI then obtained an image of Ondulich from his driver’s license in Maryland and started hunting for him in video surveillance of the riot.
They found a person believed to be him entering the Capitol through the Senate Wing doors at 3:32 p.m., according to the affidavit. That location corresponded to the Google records.
Agents also saw him holding a cellphone as if he were filming or taking a picture, then exiting through the same door. He was wearing a dark blue baseball cap with “Trump” on it and carrying a U.S. flag on a pole.
In August 2022, agents showed the Instagram witness a surveillance photo of Ondulich and the person identified him. The witness said he or she had known Ondulich for several years before the insurrection.
A search of Ondulich’s Instagram account revealed several photos from his time in the Capitol. In response to someone asking if he was there, he sent an image of the Senate Wing corridor suggesting he was. On Jan. 7, the day after the riot, agents found that he had also sent a message to another user saying, “I was there. It was Glorious!”
He also wrote that he and the others took the Capitol “back from the communist scum that is the Democrats. We are not even close to what BLM and Antifa do.”
He said the BLM protesters are “anarchists” bent on destruction for no reason while the Trump mob was motivated by “freedom.” He also insisted there was no violence and “no aggression at all,” but did say that the Democratic lawmakers “deserve to die” as traitors.
The person with whom he was conversing said, “”that’s literally domestic terrorism,” to which Ondulich said, “No. It’s not.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan allowed Ondulich to go free on a $10,000 bond and restricted his travels to Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Well more than 1,000 people have been arrested in the Capitol riot, including some two dozen with ties to Western Pennsylvania, and the case is ongoing.
A federal grand jury convened by special counsel Smith also appears to be closing in on Trump for his role in the riot. The former president recently acknowledged receiving a target letter from Smith’s office, usually an indication that an indictment is imminent.