Man Seen Wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ Sweatshirt During Capitol Breach Arrested

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
January 14, 2021US News
Man Seen Wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ Sweatshirt During Capitol Breach Arrested
Media outlets subsequently identified the individual in the sweatshirt at the U.S. Capitol—indicated by a red circle in the photographs above—as 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer from Virginia. (Courtesy of U.S. District Court for D.C.)

A man who was captured in several photographs attending the U.S. Capitol breach last week while wearing a sweatshirt phrased “Camp Auschwitz” was arrested on Wednesday, authorities have confirmed.

Robert Keith Packer, a 56-year-old Virginia resident, was taken into custody on multiple charges that include knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.

Packer was first identified on Jan. 7 by media outlets who compared pictures of him at the U.S. Capitol with his driver’s license photo, according to an affidavit (pdf) written by FBI Special Agent Paul Fisher, who included two pictures of him wearing the shirt.

Detectives also recovered his identity after an investigation led to surveillance footage of Packer as a routine customer at a local Virginia store near Newport News while wearing the same shirt bearing the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II.

In addition to the Dec. 11 picture that depicts Packer at the store, he was also seen on a surveillance camera while driving his car, the documents show.

Authorities surveyed the vehicle parked on the front lawn of Packer’s residence and confirmed the car to be consistent with the suspected vehicle from the surveillance footage.

“A query was conducted on the license plate of the vehicle and identified the registered owner of the vehicle as Robert Keith Packer,” Fisher said in the affidavit.

NTD Photo
In this surveillance picture from Dec. 11, 2020, Robert Keith Packer, 56, is seen wearing the same sweatshirt that he wore to the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of U.S. District Court for D.C.)

Packer was taken into custody in Newport News by the FBI’s Norfolk Joint Terrorism Task Force early on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed to Fox News.

During his virtual hearing on Wednesday at a federal court in Norfolk, Packer was not asked to enter a plea and was released on a personal recognizance bond and barred from entering or visiting Washington. His next virtual court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19 out of a D.C. courtroom.

A local resident who knows Packer and chose to stay anonymous described him as “extreme and very vocal about his beliefs.” Another person said Packer has expressed frustrations with the government in the past, though he didn’t recall Packer ever talking about President Donald Trump or about the alleged election or voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Packer’s “Camp Auschwitz” shirt also contained the phrase, “Work Brings Freedom,” a rough translation that appeared on the entrance of German concentration camps.

In the wake of the Jan. 6 protest, two online stores that had permitted the creation and sale of “Camp Auschwitz” shirts removed them from their sites.

It is currently still unclear who instigated the breach of the building.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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