Ex-North Miami Beach officer, Marine latest charged in Capitol breach

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida police officer and Marine Corps veteran is the latest person to be charged with taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Court documents filed Sunday show that Nicholes Lentz is charged in a criminal complaint with illegally being in a restricted building and disruptive and disorderly conduct.

Lentz, 41, is a former North Miami Beach police officer who also served with the Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to an FBI affidavit. There have been numerous people affiliated with law enforcement and the military charged with participating in the riot.

Lentz was identified though Facebook posts, including by North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo. According to the FBI, Lentz was interviewed by agents last week at his home in Boynton Beach and admitted being at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

A second Florida ma, 54-year-old Graydon Young, was denied bail Monday by a federal judge. Young is a member of the right-wing Oath Keepers organization, and the judge’s order describes him as “dressed in military attire” at the Capitol and attempting to recruit others.

Young was ordered to remain in jail until trial as a danger to the community.

The riot came as Congress was working to certify the election of Democratic President Joe Biden, who defeated Republican Donald Trump in November. Trump has claimed the election was stolen from him, for which there is little or no evidence.

“Lentz told the interviewing agents he had no intention of committing violence or destroying anything, and he claimed he did not do so,” the FBI affidavit says. “He added he felt obligated to help control the crowd, believing the crowd was more likely to listen to him than a uniformed officer.”

But in his Facebook post, according to the affidavit, Lentz attended then-president Trump’s speech near the White House before heading to the Capitol and made clear why the crowd was there.

“America has spoken. You can not stop millions of people. Cannot stop it. Can’t. It’s impossible. America has a voice. We give them the power,” Lentz posted.

“We’re not here to hurt any cops of course,” he added. “I love my boys in blue, but this is overwhelming for them. There’s no way they can hold us back.”

Like dozens of others across the country who attended the riot, Lentz is being prosecuted in Washington. Court records show Lentz was released on $25,000 bail and has another hearing Feb. 26 in Washington.

Lentz was a North Miami Beach police officer from June 2016 until August 2020, according to the Miami Herald. He also worked for the Fort Pierce police department in St. Lucie County from 2014 to 2016.

His attorney was listed as a federal public defender in court records, but no name was attached to it.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.