Claremont, N.C. man arrested for involvement in Capitol riots

James Little (center) spotted in the Capitol during the riots.
James Little (center) spotted in the Capitol during the riots.(FBI)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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CLAREMONT, N.C. (WBTV) - A Claremont man was arrested and charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

James “Les” Little was reported to the FBI tip line after he was found to have sent texts to a family member confirming his participation in the riots.

“We just took over the Capital!” [sic] read one text. “We are stopping treason! Stealing elections is treason! We’re not going to take it anymore!” read another.

Texts between James Little and a relative
Texts between James Little and a relative(FBI)

The person who sent in the screenshots of these—and other—texts also saw a Facebook post by another relative asking for prayers for Little because he was heading back from Washington, D.C.

A screenshot of that post was also sent in.

The FBI interviewed Little at his home on Jan. 13, and he told agents that he did go to D.C. the day before the planned protest, and that he also attended the protest.

He said he was “caught up in the moment” and went into the Capitol with others.

James "Les" Little
James "Les" Little(FBI)

According to a report issued by the FBI, Little said he had no intention of going in when he went to the protest.

The report also notes Little admitted to smiling at and “fist bumping” others who broke inside the Capitol. Little then went into the Senate Chamber and took photos of himself there, and sent them to people he trusted, according to the FBI.

Little declined to answer follow-up questions, but did turn over the pictures of himself.

FBI officials were able to verify the number that sent those texts did belong to him, and that he was at the riot.

Little has been accused of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of government business or official functions.

The FBI says there is probable cause to believe that he violated two orders that make it illegal to knowingly enter or remain in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; to impede or disrupt the conduct of government business or functions; and willfully and knowingly utter loud, threatening or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the grounds or the Capitol buildings.

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