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Federal Judge Orders Capitol Riot Suspect to Surrender Firearms Pending Trial, After His Attendance at Portland “Worship” Events

“This modification is necessary in light of Grace’s escalating behavior and his willingness to bring his firearm and other weapons to engage in pre-planned conflicts.”

A federal judge granted an order Thursday imposing additional pretrial restrictions on U.S. Capitol riot suspect and alleged Proud Boys member Jeffrey Grace, following his attendance last weekend at two Portland worship service events that devolved into politically charged street brawls.

U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss wrote Aug. 12 that “as a condition of his pretrial release, Defendant is prohibited from possessing any firearms, weapons, or destructive devices.” After consulting with pretrial services on Thursday, court records show, the judge also ordered Grace to “surrender all firearms, weapons, or destructive devices to law enforcement on or before August 13, 2021.”

Grace, 62, who resides in Battle Ground, Wash—about a 30-minute drive from Portland—faces federal charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 failed insurrection at the U.S. Capital. Prosecutors charged him with four counts total, including “disorderly conduct in a Capitol building” and “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.” (Grace’s son, Jeremy, also faces federal charges for his alleged role Jan. 6.)

“Selfie-style videos found in the ‘trash’ folder on Grace’s cell phone depicted Grace and his son inside the Rotunda and outside the U.S. Capitol Building, chanting ‘our house, our house,’ and the like,” federal prosecutors wrote in an Aug. 11 motion.

Grace was arrested Jan. 28 in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot. After his initial court appearance on Feb. 9, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather ordered Grace released pending trial on the condition that he does not travel outside of Washington state, and that he “possess no illegal firearms.”

Grace has a concealed carry permit—a fact that became apparent following his Aug. 7 and 8 appearances at two Portland worship service events, federal prosecutors wrote Wednesday. Prosecutors said Grace carried his firearm with him in Portland last weekend, and also during a late-July visit to El Paso, Texas.

“In both Portland and El Paso, Grace engaged in what appear to be pre-planned confrontations with individuals,” prosecutors wrote in the Aug. 11 motion. “In Portland, Grace described those as ‘antifa’ members and in El Paso, he described them as illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.”

In El Paso, prosecutors allege that Grace had a run-in with local law enforcement: “Grace and his group apparently went out at night in an effort to record individuals he suspected of illegally crossing into Texas from the Mexico border,” prosecutors wrote. They added that Grace was armed during the confrontation with police, who did not arrest him or others in the group.

“Given this troubling escalation,” prosecutors continued, “the government recommends that the Court modify the defendant’s conditions of release.”

Court records further allege that Grace is “an active member” of the Proud Boys, and that on Jan. 6, “he walked among a large gathering of other Proud Boys toward the U.S. Capitol Building grounds and through the barricades outside.” (In interviews with prosecutors, Grace denied affiliation with the Proud Boys.)

Last weekend, Portland hosted two Christian worship events: an Aug. 7 sermon by Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who a Canadian court in June found guilty of contempt for flouting COVID-19 public health rules, and an Aug. 8 concert by evangelical Christian singer Sean Feucht. (As WW first reported, Feucht did not obtain a permit for the event from the city of Portland.)

Federal prosecutors allege that Grace attended Pawlowski’s event on Aug. 7 to provide “perimeter security,” and that videos from the event show Grace wearing a side-holstered firearm “in full view.”

Prosecutors further allege that Grace on Saturday confronted anti-fascist counterprotesters, and that he stated in a YouTube video on his personal channel that “he will ‘give some back’ to ‘Antifa’ in the future, that he is looking forward to the next event, and that he will ‘do it again proudly.’”

The next day—Aug. 8—Grace attended the Feucht concert where he deployed bear mace at leftist counterprotesters—some of whom maced him in return. He wore a black helmet and carried a baton.

During Sunday’s event, which drew hundreds of attendees, Grace interacted with self-proclaimed Proud Boy Tusitala “Tiny” Toese and Haley Adams, a Proud Boys affiliate who gained some regional prominence during the Trump administration. In December, Toese finished a jail stint for violating the conditions of his parole after pleading guilty to assault.

On Sunday, Toese sported a ballistic vest over a black T-shirt that said “Security” in white font.

“What do you identify as, a unicorn?” he yelled at leftist counterprotesters Aug. 8. “State your identity first. What are you? A unicorn? A troll? Say it! What is it? Because I identify as the forefathers of America. The ones that have balls, that fired the first shot in 1776, baby!”

In the Aug. 11 motion, federal prosecutors cited last weekend’s events—as well as Grace’s alleged behavior in El Paso—as the rationale for imposing stricter pretrial conditions.

“This modification is necessary in light of Grace’s escalating behavior and his willingness to bring his firearm and other weapons to engage in pre-planned conflicts,” prosecutors wrote. “Most significantly, Grace’s recent escalation in which he twice brought a firearm to pre-planned confrontations with others and vowed to continue doing so, establishes that the proposed amendment is reasonably necessary to protect the safety of the community.”

In April, Grace pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. He awaits trial.

Justin Yau contributed reporting to this story.