A La Crosse County man has been added to the list of people accused of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol building during a Jan. 6 riot that challenged the certification of Electoral College votes.
Abram Markofski of La Crosse County and Brandon Nelson of Dane County made initial federal court appearances Monday afternoon. A criminal complaint charges both with entering/ remaining in a restricted area, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted area, violent entry/disorderly conduct and demonstrating inside a capitol building.
The complaint says an anonymous tipster alerted investigators to the presence of Nelson, who was interviewed by FBI agents Jan. 18. He admitted to being inside the Capitol with Markofski. Investigators verified Markofski’s presence with an email address tied to a phone number he uses. The mobile device connected to the email was present in an area within the Capitol between 2:15-3:41 p.m.
Markofski and Nelson traveled together to Washington, D.C., Jan. 5 to hear then-President Donald Trump speak the following morning. After listening to the speech, Markofski and Nelson were part of a crowd that marched to the Capitol building.
The complaint says Nelson told investigators that he and Markofski walked up the stairs of the Capitol and were guided in by police. Nelson said they were inside the Capitol for about 40 minutes.
Markofski reportedly gave investigators a different version of what Capitol police told them. He said an officer inside said, “I can’t make you guys leave. However, for your safety, you should leave.”
More than 400 people have been charged with federal crimes during the riot, which sought to overturn the count of electoral votes that confirmed Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election.