Alaska News

Homer woman says FBI search of her home was case of mistaken identity tied to Capitol riot

The FBI and an agent from the U.S. Capitol’s police department served a search warrant Wednesday at the home of Homer Inn & Spa owners Paul and Marilyn Hueper, who say the search was related to the U.S. Capitol riot in January.

The Huepers attended the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that preceded the riotous invasion of the Capitol, which left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer. Marilyn Hueper said law enforcement officers accused her of entering the Capitol and assisting in the theft of a laptop belonging to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But she said she didn’t enter the Capitol, and she believes the FBI has mistaken her for another woman.

She described the scene in an interview with KSRM-AM radio and confirmed the details with the Daily News: “So I think almost right off the bat, they said, ‘Well, you probably know why we’re here.’ Or something like that. It’s like, yeah, no, not really. And they said, ‘Well, we’re here for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop.’ And I said, ‘Oh.’ ”

Officers took some laptops and cellphones from their home, Hueper said on social media and in an interview.

Hueper has not been charged with a crime, she said, and federal court records do not list any charges pending against her. She and her husband have received offers of legal help and are considering their options.

Chloe Martin, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Anchorage, was unable to confirm the details of Hueper’s account.


“I can confirm that on April 28, the FBI was conducting a court-authorized law enforcement activity at the location you described,” she said, declining to elaborate.

“We just can’t discuss the details or existence of an investigation,” she said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police Department said, “We can confirm one of our agents participated in the search. That is all we can say at this time.”

Hueper said the agents broke down her door Wednesday morning as she, her husband and some guests were asleep.

When she asked why they didn’t just knock, she was told that they did, but no one answered, so the agents went to get breakfast. When they returned, they knocked again, and when no one answered, they broke open the door, she said.

Hueper said the officers had guns drawn and handcuffed her, her husband and their guests. She and her husband were put in different rooms and couldn’t see what was happening as the officers searched, according to Hueper.

An officer pulled out a photo of a woman in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and asked if she knew who the woman was. Hueper was surprised, she said, because the woman looked like her and had a coat like one she owns. But Hueper said she’s never had a sweater like one the woman was wearing in a second picture.

Hueper said she was able to point to other photos, provided later in the interview, to show differences in her appearance from the woman shown. The woman in the photo has detached earlobes — hers are attached. The other woman also has a different brow shape, Hueper said, adding that she’s never worn the kind of high boots that the woman wore.

“I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Is that her? That’s clearly not me. Why did you not show me this to start with?’ ” Hueper said.

Hueper said officers left a copy of the search warrant when they left after about four hours. She believes about a dozen officers were present, but she’s not sure.

She declined to provide a copy of the search warrant but said it allows the FBI to “collect information related to the breach and et cetera, you know, the shenanigans in the Capitol.”

She said the warrant doesn’t specifically name Pelosi, but she was told by officers that they are looking for that laptop.

A Pennsylvania woman accused of playing a role in the theft of Pelosi’s laptop was charged in January, but her attorney at the time said that the FBI did not recover the laptop from her, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. It was unclear whether the computer was ever in her possession.

Hueper said she and her husband didn’t travel to D.C. with anything other than a vacation on their minds.

“We were just out vacationing, and there were cheap tickets to our vacation spot, so we decided hey, we’ve never been to a rally, let’s go to a rally. Let’s hear Trump speak,” she said.

“I still think it’s funny that they want to take me as someone who was actually there (at the Capitol), instead of lost, eating hot dogs at the other end of the Mall.”

Reporter Michelle Theriault Boots contributed to this article from Anchorage. James Brooks reported from Juneau.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.