Kentucky Men Arrested in Ongoing Capitol Riot Investigation

A photo identified by the FBI as Stover. (Federal court records)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Louisville Division announced this week the arrest of two Kentucky men, Luke Hoffman and William “Jesse” Stover, for their alleged participation in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. The arrests mark a continued effort by federal authorities to hold accountable those involved in the violent breach, even as we approach the two-and-a-half-year mark since the incident.

Hoffman, from Covington, was arrested on Wednesday, and Stover, from Elizabethtown, was taken into custody a day later. Both men face multiple charges, including civil disorder and entering and remaining in a restricted building. Hoffman is additionally accused of assaulting or resisting an employee of the United States.

A photo identified as Hoffman by the FBI. (Federal court records)

The FBI identified Hoffman through a social media post shared by his wife on the platform Parler. The post showed a man matching Hoffman’s description outside the U.S. Capitol building on the day of the riot, with the caption, “I am so proud of my husband! He stood up for America today!! Were you part of today too?” Multiple individuals interviewed by the FBI positively identified Hoffman as the person in the post, which matched surveillance footage.

According to the federal affidavit, Hoffman was seen on video and in still images interfering with law enforcement officers’ attempts to secure Capitol grounds and engaging in assaults of officers on and around the Capitol grounds. He was seen yanking a piece of bike-rack fencing away from a police officer and encouraging the mob behind him to move forward.

A page from Hoffman’s charging documents. (Federal court records)
A page from Hoffman’s charging documents. (Federal court records)

Stover’s identification came through a witness who had traveled with him to Washington, D.C., to attend President Trump’s Stop the Steal Rally. The witness stated that they picked up Stover in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and then traveled to northern Virginia where they stayed at a Marriott Hotel. On January 6, 2021, the witness traveled with Stover and others to the Ellipse for the rally. After they reached Capitol grounds, the witness was separated from Stover but met up with him again later that day.

A page from Stover’s charging document. (Federal court records)

According to the witness, Stover claimed that he had fought with the Proud Boys near the Senate side of the Capitol against the police officers. Stover allegedly stated that he had “body slammed” an officer and hit him, and that the Proud Boys had been impressed and wanted him to join. The witness, who has pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, provided this information to law enforcement in the hopes of obtaining a more lenient sentence.

A man identified by the FBI as Stover with a riot shiled on January 6. (Federal court records)

These arrests bring the total number of Kentuckians charged in relation to the Capitol breach to over 20. The most notable case so far has been that of Peter Schwartz, who was sentenced in May to 14 years in prison for attacking officers with pepper spray, marking the longest prison time of any person convicted in the Capitol riot at that time.

The FBI has arrested more than 1,000 individuals in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the Capitol’s breach. The rioters were attempting to interrupt the certification of 2020 election results after President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump. The arrests of Hoffman and Stover underscore the ongoing nature of the investigation and suggest that more charges for other rioters could still be forthcoming.