A Chicago man has been arrested on charges stemming from his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Joseph Pavlik, 65, of Chicago, Illinois, was arrested on January 31, 2023, and is charged with the felony offense of obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, and the misdemeanor offenses of entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. He made his initial appearance on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, in the Northern District of Illinois.
According to court documents, Pavlik is believed to be a member of the “B Squad” a subgroup of a militia-style, Florida-based organization known as the “Guardians of Freedom,” which adheres to the ideology of the “Three Percenters.” Pavlik traveled to Washington, D.C. and stayed at a hotel on Jan. 5, 2021, along with others in the “B Squad.” On Jan. 6, he and other “B Squad” members were among those illegally gathered on the Capitol grounds.
Pavlik, and other members of the “B Squad,” were present on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol and in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. Pavlik wore a black tactical vest, a black gas mask, a black helmet with patches on the side, and carried what appeared to be a chemical irritant spray in his hand. Pavlik joined the group of rioters who were attempting to force their way past the officers responsible for securing the “tunnel,” an entry to the Capitol that provides immediate and unobstructed access to sensitive areas and offices used by Members of Congress. After entering the tunnel, the defendant was among a mob that illegally engaged in a physical confrontation with law enforcement officers in the tunnel. As a direct result of the actions of the rioters in the tunnel at that time, the mob penetrated deeper, pushing the police line back.
On or about August 24, 2022, the FBI arrested five other members of the “B Squad,” who had traveled to the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021 with Pavlik.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington, and Chicago Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.