March 15, 2021
The FBI said it executed a search and arrest warrant on Stanhope Circle in Collier County for a man investigators say was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
According to the FBI, Christopher Worrell faces charges related to the Capitol violence.
“Everyone is just shocked. Just shocked,” neighbor Lynn Elias said. “Because we never had anything like this in the neighborhood go on. This was a little too much when you see FBI and SWAT teams”
It was a startling morning for Elias and other neighbors when FBI investigators barricaded their street to raid a home.
“They were taking duffel bags out,” Elias said.
Law enforcement brought in armed men with helmets and a tanker truck.
A statement of facts filed in court by an FBI officer working out of the Fort Myers Resident Agency of the Tampa Field Office outlines the probable cause to charge Worrell in the January 6 incident. According to the unidentified officer, Worrell violated multiple laws, including:
- entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
- knowingly and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business
- knowingly engaged in any act of physical violence against a person or property in any restricted building or grounds
- used or carried a deadly or dangerous weapon in relation to his violations
- willfully and knowingly uttered loud, threatening or abusive language, or engaged in disorderly conduct at any place in the grounds or in any Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt or disturb the session of Congress or either House of Congress
On Jan. 13, a tipster contacted the FBI to report that they believed Worrell traveled to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and potentially participated in the riot. The details are included in the FBI statement of facts a federal magistrate signed March 10.
The tipster said they are an acquaintance of Worrell’s live-in girlfriend.
The tipster also told the FBI that they had seen a video on Worrell’s Facebook page that showed him participating in the riots.
Worrell acknowledged in a Jan. 18 interview with the FBI that he was a member of the Proud Boys and that he was at the Capitol during the riot, according to court papers.
“The Proud Boys were not a racist white supremacist group like the media tries to portray,” Worrell told the FBI agent, according to the papers.
Worrell’s attorney, Landon Miller of Naples, Florida, said authorities overcharged the defendant without providing supporting evidence.
“Mr. Worrell adamantly asserts that at no time did he pepper spray toward any law enforcement personnel nor intended to spray any law enforcement personnel,” Miller said in a statement. “He also asserts that he went to Washington, D.C., and then the Capitol grounds at the direction of former President [Donald] Trump.”
Worrell made an initial appearance Friday in federal court in Fort Myers, Florida. A judge set his bail at $75,000, according to court records.