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Dane Co. man charged in U.S. Capitol attack; La Crosse Co. man arrested too

Photos from criminal complaint allegedly showing Brandon Nelson (left) and Abram Markofski...
Photos from criminal complaint allegedly showing Brandon Nelson (left) and Abram Markofski inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.(Dept. of Justice)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 12:44 PM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 4:41 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Dane Co. resident is one of two Wisconsin men due in court Monday on charges connected to the assault on the U.S. Capitol in January as electoral votes are being counted.

According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Brandon Nelson and Abram Markofski, who hails from La Crosse Co., are set to appear in-person in a U.S. District Court courtroom in Madison.

The pair are accused of departing Madison on January 5 and traveling together to Washington, D.C., to attend a politically rally held by then-President Donald Trump the next morning. Following the event, they went first to the Washington Monument and then the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, Nelson told investigators police were guiding people into the building.

Photos from criminal complaint charging Brandon Nelson in connection with the assault on the...
Photos from criminal complaint charging Brandon Nelson in connection with the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.(Dept. of Justice)

Federal prosecutors allege Nelson and Markofski were “inside the Capitol with a dome-like ceiling” for approximately 20 minutes before going into a second room. In all, Nelson reportedly claimed they were in there for around 40 minutes.

The criminal complaint also stated Markofski contradicted Nelson’s account for how they entered the Capitol, saying instead that the officer didn’t guide them in, rather, he claimed, the officer said, “I can’t make you guys leave. However, for your safety, you should leave. After leaving, Markofski said the duo headed back to Wisconsin.

Photos from criminal complaint charging Abram Markofski in connection with the assault on the...
Photos from criminal complaint charging Abram Markofski in connection with the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.(Dept. of Justice)

Prosecutors say they have found a photo from that day that show Nelson and Markofski inside the Capitol as well as two more of Nelson.

According to the complaint, the FBI was able to track down Nelson because of a tip that came the day after the assault on the Capitol. Agents reported that an acquaintance of his reached out to government officials and was able to identify Nelson from his driver’s license with 100% certainty and was 75% certain that the photo shown to the acquaintance was also Nelson. Several other of Nelson’s acquaintances also identified his driver’s license photo but told investigators they were not sure it was him in the Capitol photo.

Markofski, on the other hand, was identified after federal agents served a search warrant on Google and were able to tie his phone number to an email address associated with his mobile device. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Markofski is a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

They are both charged with:

  • Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grouds
  • Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Violent Entry or Disorderly Conduct
  • Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building

In court Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker released them pending a virtual hearing on May 10, according to the Associated Press.

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