The decade's most triggering comedy
On January 6, 2021, the FBI explicitly chose to abandon a sting on a child pornographer in Virginia who was messaging with an undercover agent about having sex with a nine-year-old boy, opting instead to focus on prosecuting Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Less than three years later, the FBI discovered the same man living in Alaska where he appears to have been performing sex acts on a 10-year-old boy, according to court documents.
On December 2, 2020, an internet user with the screen name “gayboy69freak” messaged an undercover agent with the FBI’s Washington Field Office, who was posing as a father pimping out his 9-year-old son, and told him that he wanted to travel to D.C. to have sex with the boy. The man also sent the agent a video of “a prepubescent minor male being anally penetrated by an adult male’s erect penis.” His IP address led the FBI to Brogan Welsh of Glenn Allen, Virginia.
What appears to be a slam-dunk case against a child predator was abruptly abandoned just one month later.
“On January 6, 2021, FBI, Washington Field Office, [decided] this investigation was halted due to events that occurred at the United States Capitol Building that day,” court documents say.
The man was only arrested, and the court documents only filed, because Welsh moved to Alaska and crossed the Anchorage FBI’s radar in an unrelated perversion investigation. On October 24, 2023, after coming across troubling chats from Welsh on a phone they seized from a different alleged pervert, Alaska FBI agents went into his house and “located items including sex toys that are very small in size and apparently consistent with the body size of an approximate 10-year-old boy,” as well as children’s underwear.
“The investigation has revealed that a 10-year-old boy was, in fact, residing at the residence belonging to Welsh,” the agents wrote.
In other words, because the FBI called off the dogs even after Welsh sent child porn to an FBI agent, he appears to have gone on to molest a 10-year-old.
It was as FBI agents worked through the Alaska case that they realized that the bureau’s Washington Field Office had slam-dunk evidence that it had never bothered to do anything with, and added it to charging documents filed November 6, 2023. The Alaska arrest of Welsh was made based on the initial child pornography crime in Virginia, not even his apparent crimes in Alaska.
The Washington Field Office wouldn’t say how many other ordinary criminal investigations were put on hold because of January 6, but it did acknowledge that resources were diverted.
“In the immediate aftermath of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, WFO resources were surged to support the FBI’s response and investigation,” the office told The Daily Wire in a statement. “However, WFO continued to diligently pursue its ongoing investigations. While we can’t speak to the specific circumstances of this case, the FBI takes all crimes against children investigations extremely seriously, and we must follow the facts where they lead and collect enough evidence to pursue prosecution.”
This sort of admission, that a case was dropped, rarely appears in court filings, because a dropped investigation means nothing ever makes it to court. Welsh’s case is an exception because he tripped the wires of a different field office in Alaska, which picked up the case.
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 1,000 defendants in what they call the “Capitol Breach,” and more than 65,000 legal documents have been filed in the cases, according to a Daily Wire database. Investigators and prosecutors have limited time, so it turns out that all that work likely comes at the expense of the cases they’d normally be handling.
The focus on January 6 prosecutions has coincided with U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia prosecutors, who because of D.C.’s unique status handle most local criminal violations in the city, increasingly deciding not to prosecute residents arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department — even as D.C. crime has gotten out of control.
In 2020, before the Capitol event, the office declined to prosecute 35% of felonies and 52% of misdemeanors that were brought to them by local police. In 2021, as they focused on Capitol defendants, those numbers grew to 56% and 42%, according to Department Of Justice data. In 2022, a whopping 72% of people who were arrested for misdemeanors in D.C., and 53% of would-be felons, found themselves going free because prosecutors simply didn’t bother to pursue their cases. The U.S. Attorney’s office has in part blamed a lack of an accredited crime lab to test drugs and DNA.
At the same time, life has gotten worse for D.C. residents. Violent crime is up by 39% compared to last year; homicide is up by 34%. In 2020, there were 360 carjackings in DC, according to city police. So far in 2023, there have been 870.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a nonprofit that has criticized the FBI for political bias, said the child pornography case shows that politicization of the FBI harms more than just conservatives targeted for their political beliefs. Now, he said, even totally apolitical people may suffer because the FBI won’t make prosecuting their victimizers a priority unless the case is politically advantageous.
“Cases that check the boxes, the concern is only those will get appropriate attention,” he told The Daily Wire. “When you use politics to guide your law enforcement priorities, it necessarily means that public safety takes a back seat.”
There are indications that other victims of child sexual abuse may not be getting justice because of the FBI’s political agenda. On Thursday, The Daily Wire reported that a Satan-worshipping cult of pedophiles is blackmailing girls into cutting themselves — but the FBI was interested in it only after they came up with a way to brand the cult as neo-Nazi white supremacists.
It assigned the domestic terrorism unit instead of the cybercrimes or sex crimes unit, and a witness said the agents seemed unfamiliar with how to investigate sex abuse cases and less interested in the majority of its victims, who were white and suffered horrific abuse, than in a black victim where there was a racial angle. It arrested one member in New York — a Hispanic man who called the judge a “cracker” in court — but maintained that he was a “neo-Nazi” white supremacist.
A typical January 6 case is that of three Marines, Joshua Abate, Michah Coomer, and Dodge Dale Hellonon. The entirety of the allegations against them is that at 2:20 p.m., they “entered the U.S. Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door and proceed to walk South down a hallway,” used “their cellular devices to take pictures, videos, and answer phone calls,” “remained in the Rotunda for a couple minutes before leaving through the South entrance,” and remained “inside the Rotunda for approximately 30 minutes until police arrive and form a line to direct people out of the Building.” Then they exited “the U.S. Capitol Building through the Rotunda Door having been inside for approximately 52 minutes.”
For that case, prosecutors scoured social media, subpoenaed Facebook, consulted motor vehicle and military records, interviewed people who served in the Marine Corps to identify them, subpoenaed his phone provider, and analyzed his GPS movements.
By comparison, in December 2022, rapper and gang member Jeremiah Evans pointed a gun at two people and opened fire in front of a D.C. library. Police arrested him, but the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute without explanation. Six months later, he was back on the same block with a gun again, and allegedly killed someone.