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Amazon, eBay purchases helped link Proud Boy to Jan. 6 assault on officers, FBI says

WASHINGTON — The FBI arrested yet another Jan. 6 rioter on Wednesday, saying that eBay and Amazon purchases helped confirm the identity of the New York man who they say assaulted officers with pepper spray during the assault on the Capitol.

Aaron Sauer, 43, who the FBI says was affiliated with the Proud Boys and went by the moniker “Roni,” faces at least nine charges, including felony counts of civil disorder and assaulting officers. The Justice Department alleges that Sauer was wearing a bulletproof vest when he assaulted law enforcement officers with pepper spray and helped destroy a black metal fence on the west side of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors said Sauer traveled to Washington with Dominic Pezzola, a Proud Boys member who smashed a window at the Capitol building and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Sauer also traveled with Matthew Greene, a Proud Boys member who pleaded guilty in December 2021 and is cooperating with the government. Sauer, the FBI said, was also seen with William Pepe, a Proud Boy from the Hudson Valley who has also been charged in connection with Jan. 6.

After interviewing an associate of Sauer just four days after the Capitol attack, the FBI searched Sauer’s home on Jan. 18, 2021, recovering “a backpack with tactical gear, to include canisters of Sabre Red pepper spray and Frontiersman bear spray; a box of Central New York Proud Boys business cards with the name ‘Proud Roni’ printed on them; and a black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirt,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Aaron Sauer, in black baseball cap and a blue and white face covering, holds pepper spray during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
Aaron Sauer, in a black baseball cap and American flag face mask, with pepper spray at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.USDCDC

To confirm that Sauer was the man seen pepper-spraying officers and destroying property on Jan. 6, the FBI said, they obtained records from eBay and Amazon and matched items that Sauer purchased online with items they say he was wearing on Jan. 6, including a hydration pack he purchased on Dec. 21, 2020; and a hat and an American flag gaiter he purchased on Dec. 20, 2020.

A side by side showing Amazon purchases Aaron Sauer wore at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Aaron Sauer at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.USDCDC

Both of those purchases came shortly after former President Donald Trump summoned his supporters to the nation’s capital on Jan. 6 in a tweet: “Be there, will be wild!”

The FBI also seized a Samsung tablet from Sauer, which showed that he searched terms like “congress 1/6” and “where does congress meet” in the days before the Capitol attack.

More than 1,250 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Justice Department prosecutors have secured more than 900 convictions. Of those sentenced, more than 490 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration.

Online sleuths have identified hundreds of additional rioters who have not yet been arrested. That group includes an individual who also assaulted officers with pepper spray at the same time as Sauer, and whose image is featured in the FBI’s affidavit. Online “sedition hunters” have said they identified that man — known as “OldDoubleShot” — around three years ago.

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