***This story was updated on Jan. 21
Thomas Fee, of Freeport, was arrested on Jan. 19 after federal authorities obtained evidence of his involvement in the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Thomas Fee is alleged to have illegally made his way into our Nation’s house,” the FBI said in a statement. “Today, we invited him into ours.”
Officials say Fee, a retired FDNY firefighter, drove down to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5 to attend the riot. A vehicle registered in his name was seen crossing the Verrazano Bridge.
Court documents claim Fee had sent photo evidence of himself inside the Capitol to a contact who works within a branch of the State Department.
Fee’s girlfriend also allegedly posted about his involvement in the riot on Facebook, and a special agent within the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service picked up on the posts.
The agent contacted Fee directly over text, and Fee allegedly admitted to his participation in the riot, as well as sharing a photo he took of himself inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
The agent took the photo to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the photo was crosschecked with Fee’s driver’s license photo.
New York Fire Department officials also identified fee as a participant after they looked into allegations that some active and retired members took part in the riot on Jan. 6.
Fee had served the FDNY for 22 years.
As a firefighter, Fee had earned both respect and condemnation for his past actions. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, he rescued 13 people, including several children. But in 2004, he had been suspended for yelling racial slurs at a Black cardiologist in Hempstead on several occasions.
Fee was arraigned and released on a $100,000 bond and ordered to turn over the three weapons he owns.