A man working as a postal worker in Eagan this week became the ninth person from Minnesota charged with participating in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Federal prosecutors charged Frank Joseph Bratjan Jr. with four federal criminal counts linked to his alleged entry into the U.S. Capitol as a pro-Donald Trump mob broke into the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's presidential electoral victory.
According to a sworn affidavit from a member of the FBI's joint terrorism task force in Minnesota, Bratjan previously lived with his father in Syracuse, N.Y., before moving to live with his mother in Victoria, Minn., as federal authorities began investigating the deadly Capitol rio-.
Bratjan is charged with four federal crimes: entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Agents received tips from at least three people citing Bratjan's social media posts documenting his participation in the riot. The FBI also matched surveillance footage showing Bratjan inside the Capitol during the riot with other videos he posted online, including a YouTube channel where he narrated improvements to his van.
According to the affidavit, one tipster shared a screenshot from a since-deleted Instagram post in which Bratjan wrote about approaching "the Capitol building with an army of American patriots" and "storming up the steps and into the halls." He also claimed to have been pepper-sprayed.
Bratjan was allegedly captured on Capitol surveillance cameras entering the building through a broken window. The FBI agent's affidavit meanwhile stated that Bratjan was seen in a crowd that pushed back law enforcement officers trying to guard the offices of Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Bratjan spent more than a half hour inside the building, according the affidavit's narrative of Capitol security footage.