FBI officials have erected billboards seeking tips on possible suspects who breached the U.S. Capitol January 6 and, according to one agency spokesman, this is likely the first time the FBI has done this nationwide.
But Joel Siskovic, speaking for the FBI’s Memphis Field Office, said members of his agency have used billboards before to find suspects — but only in limited regions of the United States.
Members of the FBI’s National Press Office in Washington, D.C. did not return The Star News’s requests for comment this week.
“This may be the first time it is 100 percent nationwide, but it isn’t uncommon for us to put up billboards in a large portion of the country, either the East Coast or the West Coast or the South,” Siskovic said.
“Everything is regionalized, and with this one it’s no different. We didn’t know where in the country there might be individuals who either committed an act of violence or damaged properties, so we are seeking as much information as possible.”
As The Star News reported last week, FBI officials have placed many of these billboards along the nation’s interstates. The billboards ask for tips and inform people that they may submit information about suspects through either a website or a toll-free telephone number. FBI officials created a website that they tailored specifically to address the January 6 incident.
“This is a very unique situation, but the billboards have been highly successful over the last decade, maybe longer, but we use them to identify fugitives or, a lot of times, people involved in bank robberies and people who committed violent crimes, or any time where someone has injured someone or destroyed property,” Siskovic said.
“We tend to not go to the public, and that is why it seems out of the ordinary. We don’t like to reveal that we have an investigation in most of our cases. Unlike state and local [agencies], we tend to not comment.”
As reported, some people have complained that federal agents are enforcing the law selectively and not pursuing people who participated in last summer’s nationwide riots and destroyed property in several U.S. cities.
FBI officials said they are currently offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the location, arrest, and conviction of anyone responsible for placing pipe bombs in Washington, D.C. on January 5.
Attorneys with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have listed all of the defendants they have thus far charged with committing crimes at the U.S. Capitol.
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