New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
ON THEIR TRAIL
Documents: How FBI agents tracked Connecticut mom, daughter in Capitol riot
For investigators, the images from the U.S. Capitol riot have proved crucial. From social media to an array of cameras blanketing the Capitol complex, agents from across the country have pieced together the identities of hundreds of angry people who stormed the building on Jan. 6.
For a mother an daughter from Canterbury who were charged Tuesday, it was pictures posted to social media that first gave them away, records show. But arresting documents show FBI agents turned to surveillance to strengthen their case.
Jean Lavin, 56, and her daughter, 19-year-old Carli Krzywicki, were the latest of more than 550 people charged by federal authorities for their alleged role in the riot. While not accused of violent offenses, the two face charges related to illegally entering the building.
Lavin did not respond Wednesday to a call seeking comment. Both appeared briefly Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where their cases were transferred to Washington. They are scheduled for virtual hearings next week.
“Carla, who is just 19, is presumed innocent of any criminal conduct and is entitled to due process before judgment may be passed on her,” said Morgan Rueckert, an attorney for Krzywicki. “She will address these charges, through counsel, in court at the appropriate time.”
Documents released following the arrest show how FBI agents learned the mother and daughter were at the Capitol riot and how they tracked the two within the grounds.
A Facebook post
In a statement of facts associated with the arrest, an FBI agent said the agency received a tip around Jan. 6 from someone who reported that Lavin and Krzywicki had been at the Capitol on the day of the riot.
The FBI agent said the tip included a screen grab from Krzywicki’s Facebook page with a post containing images of the two outside the U.S. Capitol and a group of people inside the building.
The post, from an account bearing Krzywicki’s name, read: “this is history. we don’t go burning down your city and stealing from your business. we come for the government officials that are ruining our country, we go straight to the source. change needs to happen. that is our house and you work for us.”
When Krzywicki was interviewed by a FBI agent, she acknowledged making the post but later taking it down “because it seemed like a bad idea to leave it up,” according to court records.
A bike rack
The first image that investigators shared in court records was from just outside the Capitol building, where people were gathered near a wall. The image shows a bike rack barricade that has been turned vertically and was being used to get over the terrace and then into the Capitol building.
Investigators said that “open source” video showed Lavin and Krzywicki scaling the bike rack to get over the wall, according to the court documents.
A wordy sign
A sign that investigators spotted Lavin carrying was featured in eight photos that the investigators included in the statement of facts. While a person in a dark jacket, jeans and a red hat was climbing the bike rack, the sign is seen above the crowd.
The sign reads “Trump Won” on one side and “Don’t allow 7 states of cheaters to hijack our election!”
The sign is also seen in a large crowd that is gathered near the Senate Wing door, according to an image in the statement of facts.
Through a series of photos, a woman, believed to be Lavin, is carrying the sign while walking through the Capitol Building, according to the statement of facts. The sign has two small American flags attached to it.
FBI agents used Lavin and Krzywicki’s outfits to continue to identify them on surveillance video as they moved from the grounds through the Capitol building, the documents showed.
Agents said Lavin was wearing a red jacket, pink shirt, pink hat that said, “Trump,” and carried a purple backpack, according to court records. Krzywicki had a red winter hat that said “Trump,” along with a blue hooded sweatshirt with Trump’s name, records show.
With surveillance footage, FBI agents were able to outline how the mother and daughter moved through the U.S. Capitol Building, records show.
They were first seen entering the building through the Senate Wing door at 2:24 p.m., the records said. They were spotted next in the Capitol Crypt from 2:25 to 2:31 p.m., the statement of facts shows.
At 2:32 p.m., they moved to the Capitol Crypt lobby toward the Orientation lobby, and returned at 2:46 p.m. to the Capitol Crypt lobby, according to records.
Around 2:56 p.m., agents said they left the Capitol building through the Senate Wing door, the statement of facts read.
When agents spoke to Lavin and Krzywicki in June, they said they went to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 on a bus from Norwich that was organized by a local Facebook group, according to documents. They told investigators that they had missed Trump speak because the bus driver had gotten lost in New York City.
Lavin told investigators they went into the Capitol building to look around out of curiosity, arrest records show. She said she did not post anything to social media, but may have shared some photos with friends, the documents show.
Both told investigators they were in the building for a short time, left and then returned again for about 20 minutes, according to arrest records. Krzywicki said they left for the final time after Lavin fell, an FBI agent wrote in the statement of facts.
A member of the FBI who met with the mother and daughter confirmed that the images from video and Facebook were Lavin and Krzywicki, according to the statement of facts.