South Florida couple posted online about participating in Jan. 6 riot, FBI says

A South Florida man is facing federal charges after a relative tipped off the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he shared photos and videos on his social media accounts of him and his partner inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, according to a criminal complaint.

Joseph Lapoint, 43, faces one count each of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building, according to the complaint, which was unsealed Tuesday in South Florida’s federal court district.

Nicole Joyner, 45, is referred to as Lapoint’s girlfriend or fiance in the complaint. It was not immediately clear Wednesday afternoon whether federal prosecutors have also filed charges against her. The complaint alleges she violated the same statutes as Lapoint, but she is not listed in the court docket as a co-defendant.

The FBI received the tip from Lapoint’s relative in January 2021 that included a photo from Lapoint’s Facebook account of him posing on a window ledge inside an office in the Capitol building, the complaint said. The relative said Lapoint posted videos of himself claiming to be inside the building on Jan. 6 and that he had videos of him and Joyner approaching and entering the building.

The relative told the FBI Lapoint’s phone number, which has a Palm Beach County area code, and an email address associated with the number included Lapoint’s last name, the complaint said. Google records showed at least two electronic devices associated with Lapoint were within the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, one of them recording that location between about 1 and 4:30 p.m.

Records associated with Joyner’s phone number, which has a Broward County area code, showed a device associated with her number was in and around the Capitol between shortly before 2:30 p.m. and just after 3 p.m., according to the complaint.

The rioters forced their way into the building about 2 p.m. that day, “including by breaking windows and by assaulting members of the U.S. Capitol Police, as others in the crowd encouraged and assisted those acts,” the complaint said. Vice President Mike Pence and members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate evacuated the chambers about 2:20 p.m.

A second person contacted the FBI with a tip about Lapoint and Joyner in August 2021, which included screenshots of social media posts on Joyner’s accounts, the complaint said. One of the photos was from Joyner’s Instagram account “fireyeyedangel” with a caption that purported antifa activists entered the Capitol, a claim that the Associated Press debunked.

“They were escorted by police I saw it my self,” Joyner allegedly wrote in her Instagram post, according to the complaint. The FBI agent wrote that he interpreted the caption to mean Joyner was at the building that day.

Another photo in the complaint is a screenshot of a livestream on the site DLive that apparently shows Lapoint and Joyner among the mob of people entering the Capitol, according to the complaint.

The investigating FBI agent found a video on Lapoint’s TikTok account posted on Jan. 6, 2022, of himself and Joyner on the Capitol grounds titled, “HAD A BLAST one year ago,” according to the complaint. The caption said, “me and babe stormed the Capitol with the rest of America.”

Based on the photos the FBI reviewed, a law enforcement official used facial recognition software to scour videos and photos of the riot that were shared on social media and by news organizations to find more photos of Joyner and Lapoint, the complaint said.

That search resulted in authorities finding at least two more photos of them on the Capitol grounds and inside the building. The Capitol’s Office of the Architect also searched open-source video and found footage of Lapoint, Joyner and other rioters inside Office S145, where Lapoint was seen climbing onto the window ledge and posing for the photograph that the FBI had received from the tipster.

Joyner and Lapoint were not seen damaging or hitting anything inside the office, though unknown rioters caused damage in that office to a door frame and broke an outside window, the complaint said. Lapoint and Joyner were inside the building for about 20 minutes.

Authorities also reviewed security cameras mounted inside the Capitol building and saw Lapoint and Joyner entering and exiting, the complaint said. Their clothing and appearances seen on the surveillance footage matched those in the photos of them.

At least 17 people were arrested in South Florida on charges related to the Jan. 6 riot and at least 97 total across Florida, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s database.

Lapoint’s case has been transferred from federal court in South Florida to D.C. as of Tuesday. All cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C.

Information for Lapoint’s attorney was not immediately available Wednesday.