Feds arrest Macomb County man in ongoing Jan. 6 riot crackdown

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
Steven Thurlow  is seen in this photo wearing a gas mask, armed with a knife and what appears to be an AR-15 style rifle. He also is wearing tactical gear with a "Boogaloo" patch.

Detroit — A U.S. Army veteran from Macomb County who wore clothing associated with the extremist “Boogaloo” movement was arrested Wednesday and charged with breaking into the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Steven Thurlow, 50, a gunsmith from St. Clair Shores, is the 10th person from Michigan charged during a broader crackdown on the Jan. 6 insurrection that has led to more than 500 people being charged nationwide.

Thurlow was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond Wednesday following a brief appearance in federal court in Detroit. He is expected to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., to face charges that include breaking into the U.S. Capitol and disorderly conduct.

He is accused of breaking in, climbing on a conference table and joining rioters during the Capitol siege and documenting his involvement in social media posts that he later deleted, according to the government.

Surveillance footage inside the U.S. Capitol showed Steven Thurlow inside the building during the Jan. 6 siege, prosecutors said.

Investigators received tips leading to Thurlow, who previously worked as a cement finisher and filed for bankruptcy in 2014. One tipster warned investigators that Thurlow was a veteran who had become a conspiracy theorist.

FBI agents received the first tip Feb. 18 when an acquaintance said Thurlow had posted photos on Facebook showing him inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. The tipster sent investigators photos of Thurlow, including one in which he is wearing a Boogaloo patch on camouflage tactical gear.

The term Boogaloo refers to a violent uprising or impending civil war and is sometimes used by militia extremists and racially motivated violent extremists, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI says this photo shows Steven Thurlow on top of a table inside the U.S. Capitol.

Thurlow also was shown in a photo wearing a patch indicating he had served with the 101st Airborne Division. Military records confirmed he served from 1988 to late 1991.

The tipster also sent FBI agents a photo of Thurlow on top of a conference table inside the Capitol.

Additional photos showed a photo of a riot disbursement device from Thurlow's Facebook page with the caption: "The commies just fired this riot disbursement device at us. Guess what, we didnt (sic) disperse."

All of the posts appear to have been deleted from his Facebook account or set to private, according to the affidavit. 

Surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol confirmed Thurlow was inside during the siege, according to the government.

The video shows Thurlow walking through the halls of the Senate side of the building while recording events with a cell phone, according to the affidavit.

Nine other people from Michigan have been charged during the ongoing investigation, which has led to charges against more than 500 people nationwide. Those from Michigan include:

  • Anthony Michael Puma, 49, of Brownstown Township. He is accused of breaking into the U.S. Capitol and threatening to kill "commie bastards" during a looming war.
  • Jeramiah Caplinger, 25, of Taylor. Federal agents said he was identified as being in the Capitol on Jan. 6 through still images from YouTube and social media wearing "a red bucket hat," a "striped shirt" and carrying a "carrying a tree branch with a flag attached."
  • Karl Dresch, 40, of Calumet, who is being held without bond, is accused of illegally entering the Capitol. Prosecutors shared photographs posted on Facebook, including one with the title “We are in" that a U.S. Capitol police officer confirmed shows the inside of the U.S. Capitol Building. The photo shows "specifically, the 'Crypt,' a location under the rotunda in the center of the Capitol," according to a court filing.
  • Jeremy Sorvisto, 37, of Hancock, who is accused of traveling with Dresch and breaking into the Capitol.
  • Anthony Robert Williams, 45, of Troy, who is free on bond. Williams is accused of breaking into the U.S. Capitol in January and bragging how he "pushed back the cops."
  • • Daniel Herendeen, 43, of Chesterfield Township and Bobby Schornak, 39, of Roseville were charged with obstructing Congress, breaking into the Capitol and disorderly conduct. They are free on bond.
  • Michael Joseph Foy, 30, of Wixom. Federal prosecutors said Foy on Jan. 6 struck law enforcement at least 10 times with a hockey stick that had carried a President Donald Trump flag earlier in the day. Foy, who is being held without bond, later rallied others to climb through broken windows in the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors said, citing a YouTube video and police body camera footage. 
  • James Allen Mels, 56, of Shelby Township. Mels posted selfies after entering the Capitol and told investigators he traveled to Washington, D.C., with 11 other "like-minded Patriots" because "he believed the 2020 presidential election to have been fraudulently decided," according to a federal court filing. The sheet metal worker was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond following an initial appearance in federal court in Detroit.


Twitter: @robertsnellnews