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General News

Greek-American Johnatakis Charged in Connection with Capitol Insurrection

February 17, 2021

TACOMA, WA  – Taylor James Johnatakis, 38, of Kingston, WA is the fourth Washington state resident charged in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Associated Press reported.

Johnatakis, whose Greek ancestral name is Giannikakis, turned himself in to the FBI on February 11 after a grand jury in Washington, DC, returned an eight-count indictment against him.

He is accused of obstructing an official proceeding, assaulting or impeding federal officers, remaining in a restricted building and engaging in violent acts in the Capitol or on its grounds. The most serious charge, obstructing an official proceeding, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Johnatakis made an initial appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. The Justice Department did not request his continued detention, and a judge ordered him to be released pending further hearings in Washington, D.C.Johnatakis declined an invitation to address the court about his release, and he has not entered pleas. His attorney, Christopher Black, described him after the court hearing as a married father of five children who works in construction with his brother-in-law.

Johnatakis has no criminal history, Black said. Black declined to discuss the charges but added in an email: “Mr. Johnatakis is not a member or supporter of any white supremacist or hate group and strongly condemns that sort of thinking.”

Other Washington state residents charged in the riot are Jeffrey Grace, of Battle Ground, who was allegedly pictured in the background of a photograph showing a man carrying a stolen lectern through the Capitol Rotunda; Ethan Nordean, the self-described “sergeant at arms” of the Seattle chapter of the far-right group Proud Boys; and Mark Jefferson Leffingwell, of Seattle, who was arrested in January inside the Capitol. The Seattle Times reported that Leffingwell was charged with assaulting a federal officer, entering or remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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