- A man who took photos of himself inside the Capitol rotunda pleaded guilty to one count on Tuesday.
- Thomas Fee sent a selfie to his girlfriend’s brother — a federal agent — during the siege.
- Fee faces up to six months in jail after pleading guilty to one count of parading.
A New York man who sent photos of himself inside the Capitol building on January 6 to his girlfriend’s brother — a federal agent — pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge connected to the attack.
Thomas Fee, a retired firefighter from Freeport, New York, was arrested nearly one year ago after he turned himself in to authorities two weeks after the insurrection.
On Tuesday, Fee, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, as first reported by WUSA. The charge carries a sentence of up to six months in prison.
Following his 2021 arrest, Fee initially faced charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Federal prosecutors have offered several Capitol rioters the lesser parading charge in exchange for their guilty pleas.
Dennis Ring, an attorney for Fee, told Insider that his client chose to resolve the case by pleading guilty to the single misdemeanor count of illegally demonstrating inside the Capitol.
“He has taken responsibility for his conduct and will accept the sentence Judge Bates dispenses,” Ring said.
Prosecutors identified Fee early on in the aftermath of the riot after he texted a photo and video of himself inside the Capitol to his girlfriend’s brother, who worked for the US Diplomatic Service, according to charging documents.
The special agent’s wife first saw a Facebook post made by Fee’s girlfriend saying Fee was at the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the riot, according to a criminal complaint. The agent then texted Fee, his sister’s boyfriend, to ask if he was in Washington, DC, at the rally, investigators said.
Fee responded by sending a selfie taken inside the Capitol rotunda amid scores of rioters. Fee also sent his girlfriend’s brother a video of himself from inside the building where other rioters can be heard screaming “Pelosi” and “tyranny,” the complaint said. In a text message accompanying the video, Fee reportedly said he was “at the tip of the spear.”
According to charging documents, the unnamed special agent initially deleted the messages but was later able to revive them, after which he sent them to DSS. The agency then sent the evidence to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Following his January arrest, WABC reported that Fee was working as a firefighter during the September 11 attacks. He was also reportedly honored for rescuing 13 people, including a pregnant woman and children, during Hurricane Sandy.
However, as a volunteer firefighter in Hempstead 2004, Fee was suspended after being accused of yelling racial slurs at a Black doctor who walked by the firehouse a couple of times, the outlet reported.
More than 730 people have been arrested in connection to the deadly attack and more than 170 have pleaded guilty so far.