Nicholas R. Ochs, founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, and a suspected accomplice from Texas pleaded not guilty today to charges of conspiring to obstruct Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6 when a mob of Donald Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol.
An arraignment was held by telephone at U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia for Ochs, 34, and Nicholas DeCarlo, 30. They pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, theft of government property, destruction of government property and three counts of unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell scheduled a status conference on the case for April. A trial date has yet to be set.
In a statement, attorney Edward MacMahon who is representing Ochs said, “Mr. Ochs came to Washington on January 6, 2021, armed only with a camera that he used to film and report the events of that day as a journalist. He did not conspire with anyone to violate any law. He did not deface the Capitol, damage the Capitol or take any government property at any time. We look forward to a fair trial which will clear Mr. Ochs and vindicate the not guilty plea that was entered today.”
An indictment alleges Ochs and DeCarlo raised funds online to travel to Washington, D.C., from their home states to stop Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote count to affirm Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election.
Ochs and DeCarlo, who is also known as Dick Necarlo and Dick Lambaste, posted live photos and videos of themselves inside the U.S. Capitol on social media on the day of the violent siege.
According to a criminal complaint, Ochs posted a video on social media of himself and DeCarlo walking down a residential neighborhood after leaving the Capitol.
The complaint quotes Ochs saying in the video: ”Viewers, we have some good news. We have just, uh, peeked through this window, and on the television the headline reads that Congress stopped the vote when we stormed the Capitol. And, as we’ve been saying all day, we came here to stop the steal.” DeCarlo interjects “we did it,” according to the complaint.
The men have claimed to different news organizations that they were there working as journalists.
The U.S. House Periodical Press Gallery, which is in charge of administering Congressional press credentials, has said the office did not issue credentials to them.
The indictment also alleges the men scrawled “Murder The Media” on the Memorial Door of the Capitol and stealing a pair of flex handcuffs belonging to Capitol Police.
Federal authorities has said DeCarlo purported to be an employee of “MT Media News” which stands for Murder the Media News.
Ochs is the founder of a Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist organization.