Joseph Bolanos, 69, was well-respected in his community, always coming to the aid of others.
As the president of his local block association in New York City, he has always looked out for his neighbors, particularly over this past year during the pandemic doing things to raise morale. He even became a Red Cross volunteer after 9/11, and he also once saved a woman when someone tried to mug her.
On top of all that, he takes care of his elderly mother, who is 94.
But, the FBI blew up his life and almost destroyed him over the past few months. His crime? Attending President Donald Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 with a friend, even though he never went into the Capitol building. He dropped in on the rally and then went back to his hotel. He was there at his hotel, with time stamps on pictures to prove it, he says, during the breach at the Capitol. He did go back to the Capitol later, filming from the outside, but the riot was over by that point.
That didn’t stop the FBI.
They showed up–unannounced–at his mother’s home where he was staying and interviewed him for 25 minutes. He told them what he had happened, even showed them video and they left. But they didn’t leave it there.
The next Thursday at 6 a.m., he was awakened in his mother’s apartment by loud banging. “I opened the door and there’s about 10 tactical police soldiers and one is pointing a rifle at my head. [They had] a battering ram and a crowbar.”
They also had a search warrant, issued by District Judge Gabriel Gorenstein, which named Bolanos as the “target subject.” The front door of his empty apartment was being broken down in a simultaneous raid.
The warrant authorized the federal agents to seize his property as evidence relating to crimes including “obstruction of Congress,” “civil disorders,” “conspiracy to impede/assault federal agents,” “interstate travel to participate in riot,” and “unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds.”
The FBI ransacked both apartments, upending drawers, trashing his mother’s bedroom.
He was handcuffed and taken outside to an FBI car to be interrogated for four hours.
An NBC camera crew had been tipped off and was there to film his shame. NBC quoted “sources” saying charges against him were imminent. The story would be repeated in two local publications.
He began to feel ill and had to be taken to the hospital where they told him he’d suffered a stroke. He later had another one in May from the stress. His neighbors are now treat him like a terrorist, and one who previously gave him a turkey told him that she hoped Antifa would get him, the Post reported.
Bolanos went on Laura Ingraham’s show Friday night with his troubling story.
This is a shameful story. Bolanos is 69. He was fully cooperating with them, he had documentary evidence he wasn’t there when it went down — yet still, they upended his life, not caring how that might harm him. If they had any further questions, they could have asked him. They did the 6 a.m. in the morning thing for maximum terrorizing, even tipped off NBC for that little extra shame.
He’s never been charged, and he still doesn’t have his devices back. Now, he clearly needs a lawyer to push back more on his behalf, but this appears to be something that never should have happened to begin with. They destroyed his life.
Meanwhile, let’s compare what the FBI has been doing in regard to the Capitol riot versus how BLM/Antifa rioters have been treated.
In Portland for example, you had the same people rioting, night and night, attacking the federal courthouse. Yet there seems to have been no organized effort to take down the organizers and leaders. Certainly nothing on the order of the effort mounted in regard to the Capitol riot.
Indeed, in terms of the state charges in Portland, most seem to have gotten off or not even had charges filed, despite the evidence of guilt, despite their riots being an actual ongoing conspiracy against the government and the authorities.
I do hope Joseph Bolanos gets his reputation back with this appearance. But, it’s also a stark reminder that, as we saw from my DOJ story earlier today, that law enforcement under Joe Biden looks like it’s being politicized. Something that should never happen and something that’s danger to our Republic.