A federal judge didn't mince words Monday in telling a Crawford County man charged in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots that he must cooperate with authorities as part of the conditions of his release from jail.
Jeremy J. Vorous of Venango is charged by the FBI with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds; and obstruction of any official proceeding, for the day of rioting in which a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol amid congressional certification of the results of the presidential election.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Lanzillo in Erie released Vorous on $10,000 unsecured bond with multiple conditions following Vorous' initial court appearance March 26.
As part of his release on unsecured bond, Vorous had to submit to supervision by federal Pretrial Services and not possess a firearm or any other weapon. His travel also is restricted to the Western District of Pennsylvania, except for court appearances in the District of Columbia.
At a case status conference held Monday via Zoom, Lanzillo said he had a report from Pretrial Services that Vorous had been uncooperative with authorities — including possessing a machete.
Komron Maknoon, Vorous' court appointed attorney, said it was a misunderstanding and that Vorous had the machete for clearing weeds near his home. Maknoon also said Vorous had questioned what type of knives he could possess, such as whether he could keep steak knives.
Lanzillo admonished Vorous for his lack of cooperation.
"If I'm not clear already, let me make it crystal," Lanzillo said. "This is not going to happen again without severe consequences."
Christian Trabold, assistant U.S. attorney, said if another hearing had to be held on the matter, the government would seek to detain Vorous.
Lanzillo said if Pretrial Services finds Vorous still isn't cooperative and brings it to the court's attention, there will be a hearing.
"I'm not going to have any defendant jerk them around on what should be very simple matters of supervision and compliance," Lanzillo said.
"Firearms and a machete, it doesn't take a whole lot of common sense to understand that is what is not permitted under the current conditions of release," he said.
When the judge asked Vorous, "Do you understand the points I'm making?," Vorous replied, "Yeah, I understand them. We've already complied. The only thing I have to do is get rid of the machete."
Lanzillo reminded Vorous to not only be in compliance with the conditions of his release, but give a "level of decency and respect" to Pretrial Services officers.
"I was never disrespectful to her," Vorous told the judge. "All I said to her was I would comply 100 percent completely once my lawyer tells me to do so."
Vorous remains free on $10,000 unsecured bond with conditions. He faces a preliminary hearing on the charges against him next week before Lanzillo.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.