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Mother-friend gossip chain prompts FBI to identify US Capitol riot defendant

A New Jersey man is facing charges for taking part in the US Capitol insurrection after family friends gossiped that he was at the pro-Trump riot.

The mother of Robert Petrosh Jr., of Mays Landing had told a woman with whom she was good friends that Petrosh went inside the Capitol on January 6, according to his arrest paperwork made public this week.

A grandchild of the family friend then reported Petrosh to the FBI on January 17, the document said.

RELATED: National Guard soldier charged for storming the US Capitol

Petrosh is just one in a long line of alleged Capitol rioters whom friends, family members, coworkers and ex-partners have reported to federal authorities during the months-long dragnet.

The FBI was able to identify Petrosh inside the Capitol in a photo and in surveillance video, an agent wrote to a federal judge. Another tipster and an FBI officer who had known Petrosh socially also helped identify him.

The charges he faces are of a less serious variety compared to many of the Capitol riot cases. Petrosh is charged in a complaint in DC’s federal court with four counts related to being on the restricted Capitol grounds and in the building on January 6.

More than 400 alleged rioters are facing federal criminal charges connected to the insurrection.

Petrosh was arrested in New Jersey and was released by a judge on Tuesday on a $50,000 unsecured bond, according to court records. He’s set for a next court appearance in Washington, DC, next week. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

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