3 Beverly Hills residents arrested in connection with Capitol riot: FBI

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Three Beverly Hills residents are facing federal charges in Washington, D.C. in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, officials said.

Gina Bisignano, 52, John Strand, 37, and Simone Gold, 55 are expected to appear in federal court in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, according to the FBI.

Bisignano, owner of Gina’s Eyelashes and Skincare in Beverly Hills, was arrested Tuesday, while Strand and Gold were taken into custody Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday shared stills of the three defendants obtained from video reviewed by investigators. The photos show the individuals both outside and inside the Capitol.

The FBI began receiving tips about Bisignano’s involvement on Jan. 10 and reviewed her social media accounts in which she said she would be attending the rally at the Capitol, officials said.

They say she was identified in videos because she uses her first and last name, her city of residence and was seen wearing an “identifiable Louis Vuitton sweater throughout the riot.”

In video reviewed by the FBI, Bisignano allegedly uses a megaphone to yell “Everybody, we need gas masks … we need weapons … we need strong, angry patriots to help our boys. They don’t want to leave. We need protection.” Officials allege she is yelling as other rioters are “physically assaulting police officers preventing entry into the Capitol.”

She allegedly entered the Capitol twice and encouraged others to enter.

“We need Americans. Come on guys. We need patriots! You guys, it’s the way in. We need some people, we need some people,” she is heard yelling in one video reviewed by officials.

The FBI also reviewed an article published in the Beverly Hills Courier on Jan. 14 in which Bisignano recalled her experiences at the Capitol.

She described the scene as a “war zone,” and said she was near a man who broke windows in the Capitol.

Bisignano told the newspaper she was unarmed and described her role in the riot as a passive one, but she ended up being pepper sprayed and experienced a panic attack.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was having a panic attack. I needed air. Every time I opened my eyes, they were burning. My mouth was burning. Everything was burning, and I couldn’t breathe,” Bisignano said in the interview.

Upon returning to California, Bisignano said people began commenting on her business’s Yelp page with photos of her at the Capitol.

“Having watched Gina at the 01/06/21 riot, I do not feel safe coming here again,” one review read.

Bisignano decided to contact the FBI herself.

“My life is over, I’m going to jail,” she told the Courier. “I’m going to lose my son.”

In a separate affidavit, an unidentified FBI agent said that on Jan. 7 they began receiving photos and videos of Strand and Gold inside the Capitol.

Strand tweeted a photo of himself outside the Capitol with the caption “I am incredibly proud to be a patriot today, to stand up tall in defense of liberty & the Constitution, to support Trump & #MAGAforever, & to send the message: WE ARE NEVER CONCEDING A STOLEN ELECTION,” the affidavit alleges.

Additionally, Strand and Gold were seen inside the Capitol in news footage of the insurrection, and Gold was interviewed by The Washington Post.

The newspaper featured a photo of Gold taken by Strand appearing to show her giving a speech inside the Capitol.

The three defendants face a number of federal charges including aiding and abetting the willful injury or depredation of U.S. property and obstruct, influence or impede an official proceeding and disorderly conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds, officials said.

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