Neo-Nazi Jan. 6 rioter pleads guilty, admits to stealing police helmet as a ‘war trophy’

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WASHINGTON — A member of a neo-Nazi group pleaded guilty to Capitol riot charges Thursday, admitting he threw a water bottle at police during the brutal battle at the lower west tunnel and stole a police helmet as a “war trophy” during the Jan. 6 attack.

Richard Zachary Ackerman pleaded guilty to two charges: obstructing law enforcement officers during civil disorder and theft of government property. He had initially faced three additional charges: assault, resist, oppose, impede with a person engaged in performance of official duties; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Those charges will be dismissed under a plea agreement.

In the court filing Thursday, Ackerman admitted bragging that he stole a SWAT team officer’s helmet, which he labeled a “war trophy.” The FBI said it had received a tip that included a photo of a U.S. Capitol Police helmet that included a “New England 131” sticker on it on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the attack.

An FBI task force officer said “New England131” referred to the “Nationalist Socialist Club 131” and the “White Defense Force” and described NSC-131 as “a neo-Nazi group with small, autonomous regional chapters in the United States and abroad, whose members see themselves as soldiers at war with a hostile, Jewish-controlled system that is deliberately plotting the extinction of the white race.”

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