You know how they often warn kids that even if you delete something off the Internet, it’s never really gone for good? Such is the case for a West Hudson man the feds say willingly admitted to them he had live streamed the Jan. 6, 2021, riots on Capitol Hill, on his social media pages, only to delete the videos. The thing is, at least two, perhaps more, viewers had saved those videos and those viewers’ information led the FBI to this man.
And now, that Kearny resident has been arrested and charged in connection with the riots, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced.
Juliano Gross, 27, of Kearny, was taken into custody Jan. 18, the FBI said.
According to Henry A. Mackey, FBI special agent in charge:
On Jan. 7, 2021, a tipster submitted information online and anonymously to the FBI that a person using the screenname @julianospiano on TikTok steamed live videos of himself “unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.” The tipster also noted the videos had since been deleted.
Nearly two weeks after, the same tipster provided the FBI with screenshots of a man, later determined to be Gross, inside the Capitol wearing a red baseball-style cap with a scarf. The same tipster later submitted images of Facebook and YouTube pages that were determined to belong to Gross.
On Jan. 8, 2021, a second tipster told the FBI she, too, had seen the aforementioned TikTok videos of the same man inside the Capitol and provided authorities with screenshots of them.
Neither of the two tipsters reportedly knew Gross personally.
On Jan. 28, 2021, Mackey says he traveled from Washington, D.C., to Kearny, where he interviewed Gross, in person, for the first time. Gross, Mackey said, admitted he’d left Jersey for D.C. on Jan. 5, with his mother, and planned to live stream the riots “to raise money,” though he didn’t say for what.
At first, he attended a rally for former President Donald J. Trump Sr., near the White House, and he then walked over to the Capitol area to “film the events” of the day. He reportedly admitted to entering what turns out to be the Capitol Rotunda. Gross also reportedly told Mackey he raised about $200 from his TikTok video, but that the social media giant company later denied him the cash and banned his account.
Weeks later, on Feb. 11, 2021, Gross and other law-enforcement agents spoke with Gross’s mother, who was only identified as “AR.” After the rally, Mackey says AR told him she didn’t move over to the Capitol with her son, but instead remained behind to warm up in their car. She says her son told her, “people started going crazy there.”
Beyond that, Mackey says he later found the deleted TikTok videos, and in them, Gross reportedly shouted, “We are in the Capitol building! Power back to America! We are in the Capitol building! The Capitol has been overthrown.”
In another video, Mackey says he could distinctly hear Gross shout from the floor of the U.S. Senate Chamber, “Open the door” twice. In another Senate-Chamber video, Gross could be seen screaming, “Our Capitol! Our Capitol! We take back our country today!”
Later, whilst on the Senate floor, Mackey says Gross could be heard saying he was ready to leave because “the National guard has been mobilized.”
Mackey also says Gross could be seen in other videos on the West Terrace of the Senate chambers, on in-house CCTV of the Rotunda, walking through the Rotunda, walking in the East Corridor toward Senate Chambers and then entering the Senate gallery.
Based on this and much more evidence, Mackey says he charged Gross with knowingly entering a restricted building — a building where the U.S. Secret Service protects the president and other officials — without lawful authority with the intent to disrupt the orderly carrying out of government business, and with using loud and abusive language on the Capitol grounds with the intent to disrupt Congress, disorderly conduct and defiant trespassing.
A warrant for Gross’s arrested as issued Jan. 11, 2022 and he was taken into federal custody Jan. 18.
It is not immediately clear whether Gross was remanded to a federal facility or released, either on his own recognizance or bail.
Attempts to contact Gross for comment were unsuccessful.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.