South Carolina man pleads guilty to threatening federal prosecutor over Proud Boys leader

A Lexington County man suspected of being involved in a fatal riot on January 6 at the US Capitol pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a threatening message left to prosecutors on Friday, leading Proud Boys. Warned that if something happened to him, he could do harm.

Gilbert’s James Jannacos pleaded guilty to a threatening phone call to a former US federal prosecutor in federal court in Colombia. Judge Terry Uten did not impose a sentence on Friday, but denial of charges means that Jannakos could face fines of up to $ 250,000 in federal prisons for up to five years.

It also means that Jannakos must work with federal prosecutors on other criminal cases he may know, including an attack on the US Capitol earlier this year.

According to court records, Giannakos caught the attention of SC federal officials in January when a former federal prosecutor in Florida began receiving threatening emails and voicemails on the phone in her law firm’s office. It was.

The former prosecutor was recently quoted in a news article as being identified in a proceeding. Enrique Tario, known as the leader Proud Boys as once an informant for Florida federal authorities.

“Miss (the name of the former prosecutor was edited), my name is James. I wanted Enrique Tario to know that if something happened, you and your family would do the same. I can’t believe you released CI (Confidential Information Provider) information. If something happens to him, I promise you and your peers will pay for it Colombia A message left by Jannakos will hold you liable, according to a criminal accusation document filed in federal court. “

In court on Friday, Jannakos was angry with the judge that Tario was identified as a confidential informant because his family was murdered, and the informant worked with law enforcement agencies on the family case. I was told that I was there. He believed that Tario could be at risk if the information was released, Jannakos lawyer Allen Burnside told the court.

Proud Boys is “a far-right group that has gained a reputation for major protests that are often violent in cities such as Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon,” court records say in this case. .. Jim May, assistant US prosecutor, described the group as a “neo-fascist” organization in court on Friday.

Records show that the phone that Jannakos used to make the call dates back to the South Carolina phone where Jannakos lived in Gilbert.

According to May, a search of a house in Lexington County, Jannakos, resulted in the recovery of police shields, police body cameras, and police helmets from the Houses of Parliament. President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol while Congress was meeting to formalize Trump’s election defeat against President Joe Biden.

The assault killed five people, including a police officer in the Capitol.

The return of the warrant also found military combat equipment such as guns, pepper spray, Washington subway maps, 24-inch batons, tactical vests, knee pads, and eye protection. I did.

According to records, Giannakos has been investigated in connection with the riots on charges of assault on federal agencies, conspiracy against federal agencies, theft of government property, and interstate highway trips to participate in the riots. I will.

The federal prosecutor has not issued any accusations related to the investigation. Allegations related to the January 6 riots have been filed by a federal prosecutor in Washington, DC.

Jannakos’ federal defender, Burnside, said his client, who was not previously a politician, began following the 2020 elections during the blockade of the pandemic last year. He met Proud Boys through an online chat room and had seen Tario speak, but Burnside said he didn’t know the Proud Boys leader personally.

Jannakos, currently detained at the Lexington County Detention Center, said he apologized for his actions, leaving a threatening message.

According to May, Jannakos repeatedly called at least four different law firms where former Florida prosecutors currently work, leaving similar threatening messages to each. May said Jannakos seemed to blame her for disclosing information about Tario, but reporters learned about the work of Tario informants through publicly available records, and lawyers simply said in the media. He said he confirmed the information in the press.