DALLAS — Just weeks from the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riots, two more Texans have been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement.
Donald Hazard, 43, of Hurst, TX and Lucas Denney, 44, of Mansfield, TX have been charged with several federal offenses, including assaulting an officer, civil disorder, obstruction, conspiracy, and others connected to the violence that took place that day.
According to a criminal complaint filed Dec. 7 in US District Court in D.C., both men belonged to a militia group called the "Patriot Boys of North Texas," and appeared to use Facebook in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 attack to plan their role in the riots.
The complaint includes texts exchanged between Denney and Hazard about the D.C. rally:
DENNEY: So the 6th is going to be bigger than the last rally. I can’t tell you everything I know over media here but it’s gonna be big. Millions and millions will be there I can tell you that.
DENNEY: We will need linking up with proud boys though. I’ve been in contact with a few different chapters and they’re helping us out with safe hotels to get.
DENNEY: We’ll be staying in the same hotels that they are.
HAZARD: Cool bro let me look at the dates on the calendar.
DENNEY: Don’t worry about money. Just get the days off of work if you can.
DENNEY: Tell your boss you’re going to do your part saving the country
from communist [sic].
The complaint alleges they also used the social media site to recruit others to join their group and urge them to attend President Trump's rally that preceded the riot, warning them to be prepared for "civil war" and that "world war three" was not far off.
"Trump is calling this rally himself," the message continued. "It’s the day that Congress is going to try and certify the electoral college. But pence [sic] can deny the ones coming from the states where fraud took place. So we are thinking Trump wants us there to keep the area from being burned down by ANTIFA thugs when they get mad. Biden ain’t getting into office."
Hazard also used Facebook to plan, the complaint detailed, appearing to lay out an effort to "take control" of Black Lives Matter Plaza, the site of fervent protesting in the summer 2020 racial reckoning.
According to the criminal complaint, in a message, Dennis asked Hazard if he knew “any other guys that can go that's [sic] like us and will fight, we could use them. And it will be paid for.”
Outside of using Facebook to recruit, the complaint said that both men were present on the day of the attack and forced their way inside of the Capitol, taking selfies and live-streaming from the mob. High-definition screenshots from video gathered from that day also showed the pair on the Capitol grounds.
Hazard, according to the complaint, fought with officers who tried to control the crowd. Denny, meanwhile, tried to pull down one of the barricades, grabbed and shoved a police officer before entering with the crowd.
But even in the days after the Jan. 6 riots, Denney and Hazard allegedly continued attempts to recruit people into their group. They also allegedly made numerous comments on Facebook "boasting" about their participation in the riot, claiming they would likely only receive minimal punishment.
Now, more than 11 months later, both face charges connected to the event.
With these two, the Dallas FBI field office made its 34th and 35th Capitol arrests – the highest total of any field office in the country -- according to officials.
Both Hazard and Denney remain detained pending further proceedings.
Michael Phillips, a professor of American History at Collin College said the arrests and charges coming down 11 months after the attack on the U.S. Capitol are a signal of what the future may hold for militia groups.
“It does seem that that has had some effect on their ability to fundraise and communicate,” Phillips said. “[Throughout history], civil and criminal courts have been very effective at breaking up right wing extremist groups… I suspect that will not be the end of these groups, cause hate groups in America are constant.”
Just last month, Frisco realtor Jenna Ryan, who is infamously known live streaming her time in the Capitol and tweeting, ‘definitely not going to jail,’ was sentenced to 60 days in prison.