Eric Munchel, the 30-year-old Nashville man known as the “zip tie guy” because he allegedly brought plastic restraints and a taser to the Capitol riot earlier this month, had over a dozen firearms at his home when authorities searched it earlier this month.
A search of Munchel’s house on Jan. 10 by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force turned up plastic handcuffs, tactical vests, and a .22 caliber revolver. Law enforcement also found a safe containing 15 guns, including a sniper rifle, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said.
Munchel and his mother, 57-year-old Lisa Eisenhart, were arrested in Nashville earlier this month following the insurrection on Jan. 6. They have both been charged with conspiracy, civil disorders, knowingly entering a restricted building, and violent entry on Capitol grounds.
Prosecutors are now seeking to keep Munchel detained awaiting trial, referring to him as a flight risk and citing the seriousness of the charges and the evidence against him. That includes “stashing unknown ‘weapons’ before entering the Capitol, carrying a taser on his person into the Senate gallery, and seizing handcuffs as he and others stormed the building,” according to a memo released this week. If convicted, Munchel faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
“Munchel poses a serious danger to the community,” reads the memo submitted by U.S. Attorney Donald Q. Cochran, the top federal prosecutor in Nashville. “His release in this case would therefore compromise the safety of the general public.”
The insurrection at the Capitol left five people dead, including a police officer, and delayed the process of certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral college win for several hours. More than 140 people have been charged so far in connection with the riot, including several alleged members of various far-right groups.
Last week, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for the second time for allegedly inciting the riot. In a rally he gave that morning near the White House, he told the crowd to march towards the capitol, adding “you’ll never take our country back with weakness.” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that the articles of impeachment would be delivered to the Senate on Jan. 25.
Munchel took video during the riot, according to the prosecutor’s memo. It shows Munchel helping rioters “climb over [a low stone] wall towards the Capitol,” followed by Munchel telling his mother that he needs to “take my weapons off before I go in there.” Munchel and Eisenhart then drop off items near a tactical bag outside the Capitol, but the memo doesn’t say what the items are.
The video, according to prosecutors, also shows Munchel remarking to his mother: “Probably the last time I’ll be able to enter the building with armor and...fucking weapons.”
In a Times of London article published earlier this month in which Eisenhart and Munchel were interviewed, Eisenhart is quoted as saying that she’d “rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.” The article was included in the prosecutor’s memo.
Munchel’s preliminary detention hearing is set for Friday afternoon.