Man who allegedly wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt in Capitol riot arrested in Virginia

Robert Keith Packer, 56, was charged with unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds.

This photo provided by Western Tidewater Regional Jail shows Robert Keith Packer of Newport News, Va.  —Western Tidewater Regional Jail via AP

A man photographed in a sweatshirt that read “Camp Auschwitz” was arrested Wednesday and charged with taking part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, officials said.

Robert Keith Packer, 56, who was arrested in Newport News, Va., was identified by news media citing acquaintances who said that he was the individual shown in several photographs taken at the Capitol whose sweatshirt referred to the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

The sweatshirt included the phrase, “Work Brings Freedom,” a rough English translation of the German words that hung over one of the gates of the death camp, where more than 1.1 million people were killed during World War II. The arrest was first reported by the New York Times.


Packer is set to appear in federal court in Norfolk at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. An arrest warrant charges him with unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds, two misdemeanors punishable by as much as a year in prison.

The Post was unable to reach Packer, and a lawyer that recently represented him did not respond to requests for comment. Relatives and neighbors declined to talk or did not respond to inquiries. Public records list Packer’s address as a residence in Newport News.

The Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump disrupted the electoral vote count of President-elect Joe Biden and led to the deaths of five people, including a rioter who was fatally shot and a police officer who died after suffering injuries at the scene.

Prosecutors have called the resulting investigation one of the largest ever undertaken by the FBI, which has led to charges against more than 70 people and identified 170 suspects to date.

Reports of fresh arrests came as prosecutors revealed new details about a man accused of threatening to kill House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., and weapons violations, alleging that Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. of Colorado also threatened to kill D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and assaulted a pedestrian while in Washington for last week’s pro-Trump unrest.


“After arriving in Washington, D.C., the defendant sent a text that stated, ‘I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG [expletive],” prosecutors wrote in a court filing seeking Meredith’s detention pending trial.

Meredith, who prosecutors said had a history of drug use and mental illness, similarly texted, “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi . . . speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV” – followed by purple devil emoji – referring to the speaker using the same vulgar and misogynistic epithet.

While still driving to the city on the afternoon of Jan. 6, prosecutors said, Meredith received a text telling him, “Trump supporters have violated several layers of security fending [sic] at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., prompting clashes with riot police.”

Meredith responded, “Burn DC to the FKG ground,” according to the court filing.

Shortly afterward, the filing adds, Meredith received another text which stated, “It’s on, people in the whitehouse.”

That same day, Meredith purportedly received another text saying, “Pence blew it,” to which he texted, “War time,” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors said that when he was arrested Jan. 7, Meredith possessed a Glock 9mm pistol and Tavor X95 semiautomatic rifle with a telescopic sight and approximately 2,500 rounds of ammunition of various calibers, including at least 320 rounds of “armor piercing” 5.56mm rounds.

“A clearly disturbed, deranged, and dangerous individual that fantasizes about committing horrific acts of violence and takes countless steps to carry them out by driving across several states with a trailer stocked with thousands of rounds of ammunition and multiple firearms – including an assault style rifle – should not remain in the community,” Assistant United States Attorney Ahmed Baset wrote in a detention filing.


Meredith, represented by assistant federal defender Ubong Akpan, is expected to respond at a 1:30 p.m. detention hearing in Washington.

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