Hawaii ‘Proud Boy’ Nicholas Ochs, who was arrested last week after storming the U.S. Capitol, can go free, at least for now.
On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Wes Porter allowed Ochs to be released from the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu on $5,000 bond and a promise he won’t leave Oahu unless it is to travel to Washington, D.C., for future court proceedings.
Ken Sorenson, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, asked Porter to also ban Ochs from attending political rallies and returning to the Capitol grounds, but the judge declined.
Ochs is charged with a single misdemeanor count of unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds, which can result in a penalty of up to a year in prison if he’s convicted.
Ochs was arrested Thursday night at Daniel K. International Airport as he returned from Washington, D.C., where a violent mob attacked police and broke into the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to halt lawmakers from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
This tweet of Nicholas Ochs boasting of being in the U.S. Capitol helped lead to his arrest.
Far-right supporters of President Donald Trump, including members of the extremist Proud Boys, had planned the insurrection for weeks.
Trump himself encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol and buoyed them with the same falsehoods, lies and conspiracy theories he has been peddling for months after losing the election to former Vice President Joe Biden.
Ochs joined thousands of other Trump supporters and posted videos and photos of himself inside the rotunda smoking cigarettes with another man.
“Hello from the Capital lol,” Ochs tweeted.
Ochs ran as a Republican for the state House of Representatives in 2020 and lost to Democrat Adrian Tam. Ochs was endorsed by the Hawaii GOP and Trump ally Roger Stone.
Before Ochs was arrested, he gave an interview to CNN in which he said he entered the Capitol as a professional journalist.
Civil Beat confirmed that he did not have a press pass nor had he ever applied for one through the Senate Press Gallery.
Ochs is part of a group known as “Murder the Media” that posts content to DLive and Telegram, two social media sites favored by the far-right. Last week at the capitol Ochs and another man posed for photos in front of a door with those very words — “Murder the Media” — scrawled into its face.
Nicholas Ochs, left, poses in front of graffiti that says “Murder the Media” at the U.S. Capitol.
On his own Telegram account, Ochs posted videos of himself among the mob. He also wrote online that the people inside “didn’t even wreck things.”
“It was just kinda a happy atmosphere to be honest,” Ochs said.
Ochs is currently being represented by Hawaii defense attorney Myles Breiner.
Ochs tried raising money for his trip to Washington using the same Christian crowdfunding website that was used by supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse, who faces criminal charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin, related to violence at protests over the summer.
Ochs only received $300 of the $600 he was seeking for the trip.
But a campaign launched on the same site to pay for his legal defense in the Capitol case has already raised more than $19,000.
Ochs’ next hearing before a federal judge in Washington is scheduled for Friday. He will be able to participate remotely.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Before you go
Civil Beat readership has more than doubled in the past nine months. That’s incredible growth for which we’re so grateful.
But for a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall, readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism. The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters.
To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.