NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Federal agents found tactical vests, plastic handcuffs, several firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at the home of Eric Munchel, one of the people accused of breaking into the Capitol during a riot on January 6.
Munchel was arrested on January 10 and is facing federal charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, conspiracy and civil disorder.
Court documents filed by the federal government are requesting that Munchel be held in custody during the pre-trial period.
Documents say Munchel and his mother Lisa Eisenhart, who is also facing charges relating to the riot, traveled to Washington D.C. from Nashville to participate in the "Stop the Steal" rally held by former President Donald Trump. Following the rally, protesters marched to the Capitol grounds, broke down barriers and stormed the Capitol building, interrupting Congress during a joint session to certify the vote count of the Electoral College. Five people died in the riots, including a Capitol police officer.
Munchel and Eisenhart are accused of stashing weapons in a tactical bag outside the Capitol following the rally and entering the building with the mob.
Court records point to various pictures that circulated on social media showing the pair on the Capitol grounds and inside the building. Munchel has been identified as the suspect dubbed "zip tie guy" who was seen invading the Senate gallery.
Days after the riot, federal agents obtained a search warrant for Munchel's Nashville residence. Agents found a tactical vest with a patch on the center of the chest displaying the "Punisher" comic book character and the Tennessee "thin blue line" patch, a baseball cap depicting a rifle and a flag and five pairs of white plastic handcuffs - all seen in the picture from the Senate gallery.
Agents also found a second tactical vest, which was similar to the vest Eisenhart was seen wearing on January 6. Additionally, agents found a .22 caliber revolver, dozens of rounds of ammunition and multiple empty and fully magazines in Munchel's bedroom, along with a 5-foot tall black safe.
After obtaining a warrant to search the safe, 15 firearms were found inside, including an assault rifle, a sniper rifle with a tripod, pistols, shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. A drum-style magazine was also found in the home.
Seen in the pictures allegedly of Munchel inside the Senate gallery was a phone mounted to his chest. Federal agents did not find a cell phone in his home, but later learned Munchel gave a red iPhone to a friend "for safekeeping," court records say.
The phone was seized and the video recovered was captured from the phone mounted to Munchel's chest. According to court documents, the video shows Munchel and Eisenhart throughout the afternoon of January 6, including the pair invading the Capitol building and taking white plastic handcuffs found inside.
Munchel allegedly spoke with a reporter for The Sunday Times on the day of the riot, telling the reporter he and his mother made the trip to Washington D.C. because they wanted to show that they are "willing to rise up and fight if necessary," while referencing the American Revolution.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, January 22. The federal government is requesting Munchel remain detained, calling him a danger to the community and a serious flight risk. If the court decides to release him pending trial, the U.S. Attorney's Office has asked Munchel have several restrictions, including wearing a GPS tracking device.