Crime & Courts

Wasilla man appears to be first in Alaska to face charges for participating in U.S. Capitol attack

A Wasilla man has been arrested on federal charges for taking part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Aaron James Mileur, 41, is charged with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds, both misdemeanors.

He appears to be the first person to be arrested in Alaska on charges related to insurrection.

Mileur is among more than 300 people charged nationwide in relation to the violent Capitol breach so far. Defendants face a broad range of criminal allegations, from trespassing to more serious allegations such as assault of police officers.

Federal prosecutors have said they expect to prosecute at least 100 more people.

At least one of those arrested, right-wing internet troll Timothy “Baked Alaska” Gionet, has a close Alaska connection. Gionet was born and raised in Anchorage.

Like the majority of Jan. 6 defendants, Mileur rose to the attention of federal law enforcement through posts on social media.

Law enforcement agents tracked him down via tips that he’d posted videos and photos from the Capitol breach to Facebook, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent filed with the case.

According to the George Washington University Program on Extremism, charging documents for 83% of those charged in the siege “contained some form of evidence from social media linking them to the Capitol.”

In Mileur’s case, the FBI received a tip that he had been posting pictures and video footage of himself inside the U.S. Capitol building on Facebook, according to a statement of facts filed in the federal criminal case against him.

A second video filmed inside the building was posted to Mileur’s own account as well as the Save Anchorage Facebook group, according to court filings. In February, the FBI used cellphone records and information obtained from Facebook to confirm that the account belonged to Mileur.

The case was sealed until Mileur was arrested Tuesday morning.

At an initial court hearing Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander did not ask for Mileur to be jailed pending resolution of his case, but did ask for GPS tracking. Mileur, a construction worker living in Wasilla, requested a government-provided attorney.

Mileur was originally identified as an Anchorage resident but in court said he now lives in Wasilla. Public records show a string of addresses in Anchorage and Wasilla and an active social media presence.

A Facebook account that appears to belong to Mileur continued posting conservative memes and commentary on immigration regularly, up to Tuesday. Past posts and a Facebook Live video by a woman who described herself as his cousin placed Mileur at a speech by former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, discussing walking closer to the Capitol. In photos from the day, Mileur can be seen wearing a Trump hat and a Salty Dawg Saloon sweatshirt.

Mileur did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.