Florida Pastor, His Son, a Congregant Face Federal Charges for Participating in the U.S. Capitol Riot
A Florida pastor, his son and a church congregant were arrested last Thursday for their involvement in the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Pastor James "Jim" Cusick Jr., his son, who is also a minister, Casey Cusick, and church member David Lesperance were all charged with entering restricted grounds, violently entering the U.S. Capitol building and disorderly conduct.
Jim Cusick is the founder and pastor of Global Outreach Church in Melbourne, Florida. Casey Cusick oversees the church's "operations and ministries."
The three men were arrested after the FBI reportedly received several tips about the men's involvement in the violent riot.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that two weeks after the insurrection, the FBI received a tip suggesting that Jim Cusick was among those who entered the U.S. Capitol building.
Then on March 26, the FBI received an anonymous letter claiming that the three men traveled to D.C. from Florida to hear then President Donald Trump speak at the "Stop the Steal" rally.
This led FBI agents to interview Lesperance. During the interview, Lesperance reportedly admitted that he and his pastor attended the rally and later entered the capitol building. Despite mentioning that his pastor was present, however, Lesperance reportedly refused to give the FBI his pastor's name.
Agents later confirmed the Cusicks' identities by searching Lesperance's phone and working with the men's phone service providers.
According to the Lesperance complaint and affidavit, Lesperance had taken photos and videos on his iPhone during the riot but deleted them "out of fear of negative repercussions." Nonetheless, agents were able to access the deleted photos through Lesperance's iCloud account. The images not only provided officials with geo-tag locations confirming that Lesperance was inside the Capitol on January 6, but they also confirmed that Jim Cusick was present during the insurrection.
Officials were also able to confirm Casey Cusick's location by accessing cell phone data that placed him inside the Capitol at the time of the insurrection.
The Cusicks and Lesperance appeared before a federal judge in Orlando for their initial hearing on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jon Cherry/Stringer
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.