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Several insurrection arrests made in tri-state area

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 22:37:54-05

NEW YORK — Authorities continue to search for and arrest those accused of playing a role in the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, the basis for Wednesday's impeachment of President Donald Trump — his second.

Several people from the tri-state area were arrested, including a Metro-North employee; the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge; a New Jersey man who witnessed the deadly shooting inside the Capitol Building; and a Queens man, who made a court appearance Wednesday.

That man was identified to PIX11 as Eduard Florea.

Members of the NYPD and FBI converged on a Queens neighborhood Tuesday night. Multiple law enforcement sources said Florea was arrested at the residence located near Eliot Avenue and 76th Street in the Middle Village neighborhood.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed the agency made the arrest.

Florea is said to be a supporter of the Proud Boys extremist group. Feds said he threatened to deploy “cars full of armed patriots” to Washington as the Capitol was under siege last week.

Florea was charged Wednesday with possession ammunition as a convicted felon. He was denied bail after the FBI searched his Queens home and interviewed him about a series of threats he allegedly made on the social network Parler.

He did not attend the Washington riots.

Prosecutors said the software engineer vowed to travel to Washington and slice “a throat” at the Jan. 6 riot. His lawyer dismissed the online posts as "blather."

The number of people arrested on criminal charges related to last week’s riot has exceeded 100, according to a count by the Associated Press.

The AP tally resulted from a nationwide review of court records and announcements of arrests issued by law enforcement agencies. The charges range from misdemeanor curfew violations in the District of Columbia to federal felonies related to the assault of law enforcement officers, theft of government property and possessing firearms and explosives.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI said this week they are pursing dozens more suspects who have been identified through photos and videos from the Jan. 6 melee and tips from the public.

Those newly arrested Wednesday included Robert Keith Packer, 56, of Newport News, Virginia. His mugshot appears to match the bearded man photographed at the Capitol wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz” and the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a translation of the German phrase from the gates of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million Jews and others were murdered during World War II.

Anthony DiLorenzo contributed.

Clarification: Florea was arrested for allegedly making threats related to the Capitol insurrection. He did not attend, though.