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TikTok And Twitter Helped Identify San Antonio Man Charged In Capitol Insurrection

Images in the criminal complaint filed by the FBI.
Images in the criminal complaint filed by the FBI.

Updated 10:50 p.m.

A San Antonio man who took part in the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month went before a federal judge Tuesday afternoon.

Matthew Mazzocco was arrested without incident on Sunday according to the FBI. He is one of nearly 100 people arrested and charged so far with crimes related to the Jan 6 assault. He is one of at least seven Texans identified by federal investigators.

Mazzocco clad in detention blues with a blue surgical mask appeared before Judge Henry Bemporad on Zoom.

The 37-year-old was charged with knowingly entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct. The two misdemeanor charges come with a combined maximum penalty of one and a half years in prison and an additional year of supervised release as well as $105,000 in fines.

In the initial hearing Mazzocco said he understood the charges.

It will be hard for his lawyer Robbie Ward to argue he didn’t understand what he was doing was a crime at the time.

“We’re all gonna probably get in trouble for what we’re doing at some point,” Mazzocco said in a video posted on social media during the riot.

He was identified by TikTok and Twitter users within days of the insurrection from social media posts. In one image Mazzocco posted of himself, the caption reads ”The capital is ours.”[sic]

According to the FBI, he would later delete all the photos he shared from the event, but not before it started circulating on other social media platforms.

A TikTok user, “Becca Boo”, quickly linked the image to Mazzocco’s Facebook page. This listed his employer.

“First of all why would you do that when you know your stuff is clearly listed in public? That’s not smart,” she said.

An anonymous source called the FBI's tip line after seeing her TikTok the day after the riot.

"Anonymous identified MAZZOCCO as a mortgage loan officer at CMG Financial and said that the TikTok User @beccaboostanaccount uploaded a video identifying MAZZOCCO," said Tristan Hyland, an FBI agent, in court paperwork.

According to the documents, federal investigators were first alerted to Mazzocco's social media posts by a parent in the same youth sports league.

After interviewing the tipster, identified as only "Citizen 1" in court documents, the FBI interviewed a former coworker at CMG Financial. In court documents he was called "Citizen 2" and shown the Twitter video inside the Capitol. Mazzocco was identified in by Citizen 2 and shown other videos of the same time frame from different angles.

Court paperwork showed Mazzocco traveled from San Antonio to DC on Jan 5, returning the day after the attack.

Mazzocco was released on an unsecured bond of $25,000. His next hearing is set for Jan. 26.

It hasn’t been determined if his trial will be in Washington, D.C. or in San Antonio.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org