Florida man and Broadway actor James Beeks, who is affiliated with the Oath Keepers militia, was arrested Tuesday on charges relating to the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
Politico reported that 49-year-old Beeks, who goes by the stage name James T. Justis, had been performing as Judas in a touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar this month before he was arrested.
Officials said Beeks is affiliated with the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia organization mostly made up of current and former police and military. Their mission is to “defend the Constitution” at all costs, even if it means breaking the law.
According to court records obtained by the Associated Press, Beeks, originally of Orlando, Florida, was charged with a felony count of obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds.
Beeks joined the group of Oath Keepers after former president Donald Trump‘s “Stop the Steal” rally, allegedly carrying a homemade black shield. Together, the group of about 12 marched into the Capitol.
According to Politico, investigators initially had trouble identifying Beeks because he was not in the same combat-camouflage attire as the other members, instead wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket. He also wore a gaiter, obscuring his face.
However, the jacket also helped another defendant identify him. Beeks’ LinkedIn profile and YouTube page show that in addition to his Broadway credits, he regularly performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee and made his initial court appearance in Wisconsin. He was released pending further court proceedings. The case is being prosecuted in Washington federal court.
At one point during the attack, a group of Oath Keeper members and affiliates marched in “stack” formation into the Capitol grounds and then up the east steps of the Capitol to the area outside of the Rotunda doors. Beeks was part of a mob of people, including some who attacked law enforcement, prosecutors said. The doors were eventually breached, and the group stormed into the Capitol.
Once inside the Capitol, the group split up. Half of them, including Beeks, tried to push their way through a line of law enforcement officers guarding a hallway that led to the Senate chamber, officials said. Law enforcement forcibly repelled their advance. Beeks and others with him regrouped in the Rotunda and then left the building.
Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Beeks.
Since January 6, more than 675 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, officials said. More than 210 people have been charge with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
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