Videos, images of Capitol chaos lead to charges against two Houston-area men

HOUSTON – Video of the chaos at the Capitol, in particular, recordings shared online by alleged rioters themselves, have provided prosecutors evidence needed to charge those implicated in the matter.

That’s the case with now-former Houston Police Officer Tam Dinh Pham. Authorities gathered photographs from Pham’s cellphone, with his approval, according to the criminal complaint filed today in federal court. Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday that the department continues to work with investigators on the case.

READ: Ex-Houston officer tried to delete photos showing him in Capitol during riot, documents reveal

“It’s important for us to identify the folks who went,” Acevedo said.

Pham allegedly first told investigators “he traveled to Washington D.C. for his wife’s cooking business, and it happened to coincide with President Trump’s rally,” which Pham said he learned about from “Facebook” and attended to “see history.”

After the rally, Pham told investigators he “saw people walk toward the Capitol, so he began to follow.” Pham, “stated that he climbed over some fences,” and “admitted to entering the Capitol,” according to the charging document.

Meanwhile, Joshua Lollar was released Tuesday from custody on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Lollar was being detained at Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe as he faces three federal charges and, like Pham, is accused of taking pictures and videos. Prosecutors allege Lollar posted his pictures online.

READ: Local man facing federal charges in Capitol riots to be released; See list of conditions on his bond

The terms of his release include these conditions:

  • Home detention — with GPS tracking — also with provisions to see attorney, court visits, doctor’s office, pick up children on weekends
  • Travel restricted to Harris County and counties that touch Harris County
  • Can leave for travel to Washington, D.C. for court appearances, but his probation officer must know
  • He will have no access to firearms, gas masks, body armor. All are to be kept in possession of his father, Grover Lollar, who appeared in court.

“I live with my parents,” Lollar said from his Zoom video appearance.

So the judge asked if that was feasible, considering he’d live with his father.

“Yes, ma’am,” Grover Lollar said to the judge’s query about whether the father had the ability to keep the guns out of his son’s possession.

“He will have no knowledge of where they are,” Grover Lollar said.

Joshua Lollar’s father is a third-party custodian. Both will have to appear in federal court on Thursday morning to sign the bond agreement.

Joshua Lollar said he was in the military and has received disability since 2009. He said he’s being treated for PTSD. He also cited other injuries sustained from combat.

About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.