On May 13, 2021, Marine Corps Maj. Christopher Warnagiris was arrested in Virginia stemming from his alleged actions during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. He was indicted on nine charges on June 2. However, he continues to work with the Training and Education Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, according to a service spokesman.
Federal prosecutors say that Warnagiris, 40, violently entered the Capitol after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. According to the criminal complaint, he then stood by the door, holding it open and helping others enter the building.
When U.S. Capitol Police tried to intervene, officials allege that the Marine officer struggled with them before giving up.
A federal grand jury charged Warnagiris with civil disorder, assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct, and several other charges stemming from his entry into the U.S. Capitol, according to the indictment.
Maj. Jorge Hernandez, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, confirmed that Warnagiris remains on active duty despite facing charges.
“[Warnagiris] reports to work each day and is closely supervised,” Hernandez said in an email.
“He assists in planning activities and day to day tasks assigned by the Policy and Standards Division.”
An artillery officer, Warnagiris is currently assigned to the Operations and Support Branch of the Policy and Standards Division, according to Hernandez.
When asked whether the service plans to take action against Warnagiris, Hernandez said, “It would be inappropriate to discuss any pending disciplinary or administrative actions currently being weighed by the command.”
The Marine Corps, in a prior statement, said, “There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” adding, “Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values.”
However, Marines were disproportionately represented among those arrested in connection with the Capitol riot. Of the 32 veterans arrested by the end of February, 13, or more than 40%, were affiliated with the branch.
Warnagiris has served since 2002 and reached the rank of major in September 2013, according to his service records. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
His personal awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Warnagiris’ next court date is an arrangement on June 28, according to court records.
— Konstantin Toropin can be reached at email@example.com.
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