FBI arrests Jan. 6 rioter who appeared in Biden ad

 January 24, 2024

Andy Steven Oliva-Lopez, recognized as the "Blue Plaid Sprayer," a participant in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, has been arrested in Oregon for allegedly assaulting law enforcement officers by deploying chemical spray.

The arrest comes over two years after online sleuths identified Oliva-Lopez, whose image, captured by a Getty photographer during the riot, has been widely used in news articles, U.S. attorney Matthew Graves' presentation, and even in an advertisement for Joe Biden's 2024 presidential campaign.

The investigation

Online "sedition hunters" initially identified Oliva-Lopez in 2021 and promptly shared their findings with the FBI.

Despite being identified early on, Oliva-Lopez's case remained unresolved until his recent arrest. The statute of limitations for such cases is set to expire in early 2026.

Facial recognition technology played a crucial role for online sleuths in linking "Blue Plaid Sprayer" to a pro-Trump "American Lives Matter" rally held at the Oregon State Capitol in September 2020.

After Jan. 6

The associated Twitter account, named "Primal American," consistently posted pro-Trump messages and endorsed the former president's baseless claims about the 2020 election.

The Twitter account continued to amplify Trump's messages, at times using provocative language like "Cross the Rubicon, the legions are right behind you. #CivilWar2" in December 2020.

Following the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, the account retweeted a post from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and promoted a Tucker Carlson video titled "Patriot Purge" discussing the events of that day.

Three years later

Since the Capitol attack, Oliva-Lopez has been employed as a general contractor in the Portland area, frequently sharing updates on his construction projects and personal adventures, including a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado.

Such posts drew criticism from online sleuths who argued that he should be held accountable for his actions on Jan. 6 rather than showcasing leisure activities on his public Instagram account.

Oliva-Lopez's recent arrest follows the FBI's apprehension of another individual from Louisiana, charged with assaulting law enforcement at the Capitol's Lower West tunnel.

The aftermath of the Capitol attack has seen over 1,200 rioters arrested, resulting in approximately 900 convictions on a range of charges. The most significant sentence thus far, 22 years in federal prison, was handed down to Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys.

The ongoing legal actions underscore the ongoing attacks on those involved in the events of Jan. 6 in Washington.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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