FBI Jacksonville announces arrest of Tallahassee man connected to U.S. Capitol riot

FBI Jacksonville Division announced the arrest of a Florida man wanted in connection to last weeks’ insurrection at the United States Capitol.

Federal law enforcement agents arrested Daniel Baker of Tallahassee for transmission, in interstate commerce, of a communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure.

“Baker issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront protestors gathered at the Florida Capitol this Sunday. He specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the Capitol complex using firearms,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the arrest. “Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” Keefe said. “The diligent work in this case by the FBI and other public safety organizations has averted a crisis with this arrest, and we will not stop in our efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt anyone else planning to incite or commit violence.”

Baker’s arrest comes just 24 hours after the FBI announced the arrest of another Florida man, Michael Curzio, of Summerfield, who was arrested in Marion County for his role in the riot on January 6.

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Baker without incident early this morning with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Tallahassee Police Department. “In these perilous times, we are steadfastly committed to being as transparent as possible about the work your government does to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law,” Keefe said. “While extremists who plan mayhem may skulk in the shadows, it’s important that we force them into the light and bring them to justice.”

Baker, a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman who was kicked out of the service, has a history of expressing his belief in violent tactics.

Authorities say in recent days his social media posts had escalated significantly. “He specifically expressed an intent to violently disrupt protests occurring between now and Inauguration Day next Wednesday, January 20, and was actively recruiting others to join him,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated.

Baker, who the FBI says actively participated in multiple protests throughout the United States last summer, has used social media as a way to promote, encourage, and educate his followers on how to incapacitate and debilitate law enforcement officers.

“This arrest serves as a message to anyone who intends to incite or commit violence in the Northern District of Florida: If you represent a threat to public safety, we will come for you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Keefe said. “Daniel Baker’s actions show that he is a dangerous extremist, and the law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats to the people of our District.”

After approximately one year in the Army, Baker received an other-than-honorable discharge in 2007 after he went AWOL before his unit was to deploy to Iraq.

In 2017, he joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group fighting in Syria against ISIS and the Turkish government. He claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he can be seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants.

Officials said Baker can be seen in photos and YouTube videos with a variety of firearms, including those with high-capacity magazines.

Social media posts also show that he was actively attempting to purchase additional firearms within the last 24-48 hours.

“The FBI is laser focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who are intent on inciting violence or engaging in criminal activity,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “We will not tolerate those who seek to wreak havoc in our communities.”

To report information, or suspicious activity, contact local law enforcement, the FBI at 1-800- CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), or 911 in case of emergency. This case resulted from a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.