Houston man accused of taking part in Capitol riot appears in court Friday

Third local man facing charges for involvement in Capitol riot
Third local man facing charges for involvement in Capitol riot

HOUSTON – Wilmar Montano Alvarado shook his head “no” Friday during his initial court appearance, in denial of being inside the U.S. Capitol among a group of rioters who charged at police. Federal prosecutors allege Montano Alvarado not only illegally entered the Capitol, he “violently” pushed his way through a group of officers.

A federal judge agreed to release Montano Alvarado on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Upon his release, Montano Alvarado offered no further comment.

“I can’t speak about it. You gotta talk to my lawyer,” Montano Alvarado said as he exited the federal court and walked to a car that had arrived to pick him up.

Montano Alvarado is the third person from the Houston area to be charged, accused to be among the crowd of rioters in the deadly attempted insurrection of the U.S. Capitol.

Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado is charged with (entering) a restricted building or grounds, violent entry or disorderly conduct, civil disorders, assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees and obstruction of an official proceeding.

According to court documents, Alvarado’s picture appeared in official FBI postings that sought information on those photographed during the riot.

Alvarado was then interviewed by a local Television station about said appearance in the FBI bulletin.

In that interview, court documents allege Montano “admitted” to flying to Washington, D.C. Montano then called the FBI saying he never went inside the Capitol building, rather he stood on the balcony waving a flag.

Montano Alvarado also gave a reason why he traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the “protests,” court documents allege, claiming, “he believed election fraud may have compromised his vote.”

However, federal prosecutors allege Montano Alvarado’s claim that he did not enter the building is untrue. Video posted to YouTube allegedly shows Montano among a crowd who “violently” pushed their way through a line of officers to enter the West Terrace entrance to the Capitol.

The charging document outlines several timestamps at which prosecutors argue place Montano Alvarado face to face with police.

One moment alleges to show Montano Alvarado being hit in the head, another showing him show a fellow rioter. Another point alleges Montano Alvarado threw what court documents say is “Kleenex” at one of the officers, before pushing his way to the front of the line ending up face to face with U.S. Capitol Police.

“The probable cause statement that I’ve read is chockablock with lies and other evidence indicating this suspect’s consciousness of guilt,” said Brian Wice, KPRC2′s legal analyst.

Brian Wice said the video evidence makes for a strong case for the government. Montano faces four felonies and one misdemeanor.

Those are serious charges, Wice stressed, noting they come with a lot of time to serve if convicted.

“When you total up the potential penalty range if he’s convicted on any of all of these charges, they could be planting tomatoes on mars by the time this guy gets out,” Wice continued.

Montano Alvarado will have to wear a GPS tracking device around his ankle. He’ll also have to hand over both his U.S. passport and a passport from his native country, El Salvador. Prosecutors said Montano Alvarado became a naturalized US citizen last year.

Court documents include images purported to show Alvarado at the riot and taking part in what happened, as well as reflecting on the day’s events in Houston news coverage.

Here are images included in the criminal complaint.

Images included in criminal complaint against Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado. (United States District Court for the District of Columbia)
Images included in criminal complaint against Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado. (United States District Court for the District of Columbia)
Images included in criminal complaint against Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado. (United States District Court for the District of Columbia)
Images included in criminal complaint against Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado. (United States District Court for the District of Columbia)
Images included in criminal complaint against Wilmar Jeovanny Montano Alvarado. (United States District Court for the District of Columbia)

About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.

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.