News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

USA News

Florida pastors arrested in connection with Capitol riots after congregant provided evidence to FBI

by Chantalle Edmunds
Photo Credit Youtube screenshot/ VOA - Banner image

A Florida pastor and his son are facing charges in connection with the January 6 Capitol riots.

James Varnell Cusick Jr., 72, and his son Casey Cusick, 35, both pastors at the Global Outreach Ministries church in Melbourne, Florida, face charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

David Lesperance, a 68-year-old congregant of their church, faces similar charges.

The FBI Tampa Division's Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted a voluntary interview with Lesperance following anonymous tips about his alleged involvement and the alleged involvement of the two pastors, during which Lesperance admitted that his pastor was also present at former President Donald Trump's speech and at the U.S. Capitol. Lesperance admitted that "they" entered the Capitol building, but refused to name his pastor, as reported by Newsweek. 

The FBI conducted a public records search which showed Cusick Jr. as the founder of a church in Melbourne. Instagram photos shared on the public church account showed photos of church members, including Cusick Jr. and Lesperance, according to charging documents.

Body-cam footage and CCTV images depicting the Cusicks and Lesperance inside the Capitol on January 6 have been presented as evidence. The FBI added that photos from Lesperance's iCloud account that matched surveillance footage taken inside the building have also been recovered.

Following their arrest, the three suspects made their initial appearance in front of a District Court judge, in Orlando, on Thursday afternoon.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate