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Federal judge orders ‘Proud Boys Hawaii’ founder to surrender passport

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A federal magistrate judge ordered the founder of “Proud Boys Hawaii” accused of participating in the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol to surrender his passport.

A remote hearing was held today for Nicholas “Nick” Robert Ochs, 34, at federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in the District of Columbia on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds.

Under the new conditions of his release, Harvey ruled Ochs must surrender his passport and stay out of Washington D.C. except for court purposes.

If he fails to comply with the conditions, a warrant can be issued for his arrest. When Harvey asked whether he understood the conditions, Ochs said, “I understand, your honor.”

His preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 5.

Ochs is currently under COVID-19 quarantine at his apartment since being released from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center Monday on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Under conditions set earlier this week by the federal court in Honolulu, Ochs is not allowed to travel outside Oahu except for court purposes.

A mob of rioters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as members of Congress finalized the Electoral College vote count of Biden’s win over President Donald Trump in the election. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the insurrection.

That day, Ochs tweeted a photo of himself inside the Capitol grinning and smoking a cigarette. The caption said, “Hello from the Capital (sic) lol.” In an interview with CNN, Ochs said, “We didn’t have to break in. I just walked in and filmed.”

He reportedly told the network he was working as a professional journalist and did not enter any of the congressional chambers or offices.

The House Periodical Press Gallery which is in charge of administering congressional press passes said the office has never issued Ochs a credential.

Ochs is the founder of a Hawaii chapter of Proud Boys Hawaii, a far-right extremist group.

He is also a member of “Murder the Media,” a right-wing streaming outlet. A photo taken on the day of the riot shows Ochs inside the Capitol building in a thumbs up pose next to a door with the words “Murder the Media” scrawled on it.

It was not immediately clear who vandalized the door.

In 2020 he unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for the state House District 22 seat, which covers Waikiki and Ala Moana.

The FBI arrested Ochs on Jan. 7 at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport upon his return from Washington, D.C.

Federal agents matched a photo Ochs tweeted of himself inside the Capitol on the day of the riot to photos he previously posted on Twitter for his bid in the state House District 22 race.

Twitter suspended his @OchsForHawaii account earlier this week.

Ochs is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 2011 to 2018. He was last assigned as a corporal with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, Kaneohe Bay, according to the Manpower & Reserve Affairs office in Virginia.

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