A Florida Keys couple accused of participating in the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington were released from federal custody after appearing before a Key West judge for the first time Tuesday afternoon, according to court documents.
Bryan and Tonya Bishop were released on personal bail of $100,000 each after appearing before Judge Lurana Snow in federal court in the southernmost city around noon.
The bail means they didn’t have to put up any money before they were released, but they’ll be responsible for the full amount if they don’t show up for their first appearance to answer charges against them, scheduled for August 17 in Washington. DC
As part of the couple’s release terms, they must be electronically monitored, remove firearms from their home, a sailboat moored in a harbor in the Middle Keys town of Marathon, and they must not mortgage or sell their properties, court documents stands.
Their attorney, a federal public defender, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
Of the two, 51-year-old Bryan Roger Bishop faces the more serious charges, including assaulting police with a deadly or dangerous weapon. He is accused of spraying a chemical irritant in the face of two Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department officers who were trying to contain the riot, according to court documents released Monday.
Tonya Bishop, 47, is charged with entering the Capitol and charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol, and parading “and demonstrating or protesting in a Capitol building.”
Heavily armed federal agents arrested them Monday evening after they came ashore from their sailboat at Marathon municipal marina. The officers were supported by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and state fish and wildlife officers.
Sources say they lived on their sailboat, named Glory, in Boot Key Harbor for about a year.
Not much other information about the couple’s personal or professional lives was immediately available. They don’t seem to have a social media footprint either.
According to court documents, the couple married sometime after the January 6 attacks. Tonya Bishop went by the name Tonya Allison-Oberst prior to the couple’s marriage, the FBI said in its indictment.
Bryan Bishop was identified by matching his photo taken on Capitol security camera footage with his photos on Florida, Minnesota and Idaho driver’s licenses, as well as a passport application, according to the FBI indictment.
Officers say one of the officers he sprayed temporarily lost his sight and had to be taken to safety by a fellow officer.
“The next seven to ten minutes [the officer] had to fight his way through the crowd without being able to see and feared for his life,” the FBI complaint said.
Federal agents said the bishops were part of a group that traveled to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of a joint session of Congress to ratify the election of President Joe Biden.
According to the complaint against Tonya Bishop, she called her husband’s son on January 4, 2021, while he was in jail, and told him, “On the 6th, Trump called The Patriots together, a bunch of us are going there.” The conversation was recorded, it says in the complaint.
Her specific allegations in the complaint say she entered and remained at the Capitol and engaged in “disorderly conduct” while inside “restricted buildings or areas.”
So far, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with the riots, and former President Donald Trump was indicted this month for what federal prosecutors say was his role in the events leading up to the attack on the Capitol.