A Colorado man who drove to Washington, D.C., last week amid a riot at the U.S. Capitol was armed with an arsenal of guns and ammunition and intended to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, federal prosecutors allege.
Cleveland Grover Meredith, Jr. has been charged by federal prosecutors with interstate communication of threats, as well as possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. He is also accused of assault after allegedly head-butting a pedestrian without provocation on Jan. 7.
In a motion requesting that Meredith be kept in jail prior to trial, prosecutors called him “a clearly disturbed, deranged and dangerous individual that fantasizes about committing horrific acts of violence and takes countless steps to carry them out.”
The FBI got a tip on Jan. 7 that Meredith was in Washington and intended to shoot Pelosi as well as the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, according to the criminal complaint. When officers showed up at Meredith’s hotel room later that day, he told them he had arrived too late to attend a rally for President Donald Trump and subsequent riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
Agents received Meredith’s consent to search the room, as well as his truck, a trailer and phone. They found a Glock 19, a 9 mm pistol, a Tavor X95 assault-style rifle and “over 2,500 rounds of ammunition” including armor-piercing rounds. The FBI has seized the trailer for further search.
Officers also discovered a “box of suspected THC edibles.” Documents state that Meredith admitted to using marijuana habitually and having a history of mental illness.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., has requested that Meredith be detained without bond until he goes to trial.
“There are no conditions or set of conditions that would ensure community safety and his return to court in this jurisdiction,” federal prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Text conversations from Meredith’s phone last week included multiple threats against Pelosi. Some of the people who received the texts warned Meredith to be careful and back down, according to court documents. Meredith also sent texts presuming that law enforcement officials were surveilling his phone, documents show.
“You get that one Mr. Marxist FBI Agent? Go FK yourself,” one text read.
Meredith told agents he had attended a rally in Washington, D.C., in November as well as a protest outside of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s residence.