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Moorhead man charged in connection to US Capitol riot

The brother of the accused rioter told The Forum his sibling will "overcome this challenge"

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Screenshots published in unsealed court documents allegedly show Moorhead resident Jordan Stotts, 31, in the U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riots. Special to The Forum
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BEMIDJI, Minn. — A Moorhead man is facing federal charges that allege he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congressmembers counted Electoral College votes for the 2020 presidential election.

Jordan Kenneth Stotts, 31, appeared Friday, March 19, in U.S. District Court in Bemidji. He is charged in the District of Columbia's U.S. federal court with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

A criminal complaint and arrest warrant unsealed Friday revealed the FBI learned of Jordan Stotts' alleged involvement in the riots from a former classmate. Stotts allegedly posted photos that indicated he was at the riot, the documents said.

One photo appears to show him in the Capitol building wearing a tan jacket and hat while he took photos and pumped his fist in the air. The warrant showed a screenshot of a video Stotts allegedly took while walking around the rotunda as rioters invaded the capitol.

Stotts allegedly published a Facebook post about him and protesters "scaling a wall as we broke into the U.S. Capital (sic) to strike fear into the sold out Congress," the federal documents said. He claimed, according to the documents, protesters were peaceful, but police were "aggressive and on the wrong side!" He then allegedly said they were pushed out but "it's far from over! 1776!"

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“They call us terrorists, we are patriots," Stotts allegedly declared in another Facebook post. "Each one a George Washington! Most of them are Benedict Arnolds! Sold out to China and Satan!”

In another post, he allegedly said his and others' voices have gone unheard, that their lives have been slowly taken and freedoms have been attacked.

"They work for us and have no right telling us what we can and can’t do!" one post said. "I’m sick of it and so are the Patriots! With God on our side we will prevail!"

Stotts told an FBI agent during a Jan. 18 interview in Moorhead he traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally to support President Donald Trump, according to the complaint. He had been living with his brother in Moorhead at the time of the interview, the documents said.

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Nic Stotts outside his Moorhead apartment on March 19, 2021. Ryan Longnecker / WDAY

Stotts' brother, Nic Stotts, who lives in an apartment in south Moorhead, said Friday afternoon that his brother visited his apartment but never officially moved in. Stotts said he and his brother Jordan grew up together in Roseau, Minn., and that they share a bond to this day.

Stotts added that there seems to be ample evidence these days the world as a whole is facing a time of tribulation.

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"Jordan is definitely experiencing that. It's because God knows Jordan is a strong man and can overcome this challenge he is facing," Stotts said.

Jordan Stotts acknowledged climbing onto the balcony of the Capitol and entering the building, the complaint alleged. A judge set his bond at $25,000. He has been released on the condition that he promises to appear.

Katherian Roe, a public defender assigned to Stotts' case, did not return a message left by The Forum.

The Forum found a Facebook page for "Jordan K Stotts" and confirmed several of the posts mentioned in court documents were published to that account. The Facebook posts were later made unavailable for public viewing.

A message left for Stotts on Facebook was left unanswered, and attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful.

The riots forced the U.S. Senate and House to be evacuated, resulting in temporarily halting the count of Electoral College votes in an attempt to certify Joe Biden's win over Trump. Five people, including a police officer, died.

More than 200 protesters have been charged in connection to the riots.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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