Fil-Am participant in U.S. Capitol riot sentenced to prison

by PDM STAFF

Kene Brian Lazo was sentenced to 45 days in jail for his participation in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol | Images via Norfolk City Jail, FBI court filings

NEW YORK – Filipino American Kene Brian Lazo of Norfolk, Virginia, the man who carried “walis-tambo” with him during the Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol, has been sentenced to 45 days in jail Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. In addition, U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper ordered Lazo to pay $500 in restitution.

Lazo was among the thousands of former U.S. President Donald Trump supporters identified to have violently and unlawfully breached the U.S. Capitol. Congress was in session to certify the results of the 2020 election, which declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the president and vice president of the United States.

Following his arrest by FBI agents on May 28, 2021, he first appeared before the court on Jun. 3, 2021. Twenty days after, on Jun. 23, he was officially charged with “Knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds or in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.”

During his arraignment on Aug. 3, 2021, he initially pleaded not guilty to all four charges before accepting a deal in which he agreed on Mar. 7 to plead guilty to the latter charge, which carried a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Federal authorities traced Lazo to the pictures and comments he posted on social media, particularly the helmet he was wearing. It bore the label “Rodbustars, LLC,” the name of the construction company he owned with his wife, which led investigators right to him.

Besides the broom and the label on his helmet, according to the court’s statement of offense, he also wore “… orange goggles, and had an American flag draped around his neck like a cape.” He also brought a Captain America costume with its roundshield attached to the broom.

On Jan. 7, after the riot at the U.S. Capitol, Lazo posted several pictures of himself inside the building on Facebook. He also wrote, “[I] took a boi boi to the Capitol and swept the floor literally.” Prosecutors said that Lazo’s use of the term “boi boi” referred to the “Walis Tambo” broom, commonly used in the Philippines.

Lazo emigrated from the Philippines with his family when he was eight years old and became a naturalized citizen within a few years.

–With Ricky Rillera/PDM

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