Derek Nelson, an alleged participant in the January 6 U.S. Capitol attack, was arrested by the FBI in Champaign, Illinois. Nelson, who was an active-duty U.S. Marine from 2011 to 2015, faces four misdemeanor charges in connection with the attack. Online sleuths had previously identified Nelson as “Conan O’Riot” due to his resemblance to late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien.
According to the FBI, Nelson was dressed in colonial attire during the attack and was captured on video stating his intention to “start a revolution.” He was seen near the front lines of the pro-Trump mob as they chased down outnumbered officers on the west side of the Capitol. Inside the building, Nelson wore goggles and a respirator mask.
Nelson was released on his own recognizance by a federal magistrate judge in Illinois, with certain conditions imposed, including a ban on possessing firearms or other weapons. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., on October 17.
Derek Nelson has been represented by an attorney since at least February 2022. Conan O’Brien, the late-night talk show host, has expressed his dismay over the January 6 attack and criticized Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for their objections to the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.