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West Virginia man charged with stealing C-SPAN employee equipment during Capitol riot

CNN logo CNN 3/4/2021 By Paul P. Murphy, CNN
a group of people in a room © Department of Justice

Federal prosecutors have charged Eric Gene Barber of West Virginia in connection to the Capitol riot, alleging he stole C-SPAN employee equipment while participating in the January 6 insurrection.

Barber, a former city council member from Parkersburg, West Virginia, was charged with entering restricted buildings, unlawful activity at the Capitol and theft.

Writing in an affidavit filed in federal court, FBI investigators say they were able to identify Barber after receiving a number of tips and links to interviews he gave to local press outlets after the riot.

During their investigation, investigators also identified Barber on surveillance camera footage taken inside the Capitol Rotunda.

"I observed BARBER taking selfie photographs in the Rotunda ... and stopping at the C-SPAN media station located in Statuary Hall and searching through equipment that was on the stand," an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. "The video clearly depicts BARBER searching through items at the media stand, before appearing to unplug something and take it with him."

The C-SPAN field technician who had been operating the station before being evacuated told investigators that a foldable stool and an iPad power station were missing when they returned.

C-SPAN spokesperson Peter Kiley confirmed that two of their employees had equipment stolen during the riot, but did not comment on the charges against Barber.

Barber's public defender declined to comment on the charges.


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