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June 20, 2021

News West

West Coast News Network

Riverside QAnon believer arrested in U.S. Capitol riot case

A Riverside man who believes in QAnon and other conspiracy theories was arrested Thursday for participating in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, authorities said.

Andrew Alan Hernandez, 44, was identified by a coworker who recognized him in a news photo of rioters who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory over incumbent Donald Trump in the November presidential election, according to an FBI statement filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Hernandez was fired from his job after his Riverside employer confronted him about wearing clothing identifying the company when he joined the mob’s violent entry into the Capitol, the FBI statement said. The company received a complaint from someone who noticed the clothing in a photo on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, according to the FBI.

The affidavit included multiple photos purporting to show Hernandez inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, along with social media postings on his beliefs in various conspiracy theories. In one Twitter post, Hernandez said the U.S. would turn into “a tyrannical dictatorship” if Americans failed to fight attempts to “steal the vote” from Trump.

“Fight Fight Fight,” he wrote.

The social media posts show that Hernandez believes in “Q-Anon, health and science related conspiracies, financial conspiracies, and various conspiracies associated to U.S. political figures,” FBI agent Richard Migliara wrote in the court statement.

The statement included a Hernandez tweet of a photo of a burning “Q” — a symbol associated with QAnon — over a United States seal. It also quoted from Hernandez’s postings praising Trump. “You are the Greatest President These United States of American Has Had!” one of them said.

Hernandez was charged with obstruction of justice or Congress, two counts of entering a restricted building without legal authorization and two counts of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Andrew Byrd, Hernandez’s lawyer, had no immediate response to a request for comment.