A man identified in federal court documents as a former Salt Lake City police officer faces charges related to the Jan.6 siege on the U.S. Capitol complex. Prosecutors allege that Michael Lee Hardin, of Kaysville, Utah, entered the capital and posed for photos in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln while texting friends that he was there to make sure Donald Trum remained in power.
Authorities were made aware of Hardin’s alleged presence on Capitol Hill the day after the siege by a tipster known as T-1. This tipster describes himself as a friend who also worked with Hardin’s wife. The tipster also indicated that Hardin was a former financial adviser.
Tipster T-1 said Hardin texted him on January 6, acknowledging his involvement in the deadly breach.
We stormed the Capitol, I’m here now! a read message.
I know you don’t like Trump, but he’s the rightful president! another said.
We will be back until we win! a third suggested text.
Another tipster known as T-2 contacted the FBI on January 10, court records show. The tipster, a suspected “close acquaintance” of Hardin “for over twenty years,” also said Hardin was inside the US Capitol on January 6.
“T-2 confirmed to your affiant that HARDIN was inside the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 and provided your affiant with a photo of HARDIN standing next to a bust of Abraham Lincoln in inside what appears to be the Capitol crypt, ”he added. says the document. “HARDIN can be seen wearing a navy blue beanie with the word ‘TRUMP’ embroidered in white on the front, a dark colored quilted coat, dark colored shoes with white soles and a beige backpack. T-2 claimed to have received this photo from a relative of HARDIN, who in turn claimed to have received the photo of HARDIN directly via text message on or around January 6, 2021. “
Video footage sent to the FBI by another tipster “appears to depict HARDIN inside the Capitol crypt, holding a cell phone in his hands.” Location data provided by Google pursuant to a federal search warrant placed Hardin’s mobile device in the Capitol building on Jan. 6 “starting at approximately 2:27 p.m.”
Citing the Salt Lake City Police Department, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Hardin was a department officer “for about two decades.” Hardin retired in 2017.
A press release issued in 2012 states that Hardin, then a detective, was named “Officer of the Year” for his work on a missing persons case on July 8, 1986 involving a woman named Patricia Williams, 20. His body has regained five years. days after his disappearance. She had been strangled to death and “thrown”. . . on the side of the road like a garbage can, ”the ministry said, paying homage to Hardin.
Here’s how the press release glowingly describes Hardin’s involvement in the Williams case:
The initial detectives worked on the case, but the investigation came to nothing. The threads have cooled. For years, Patricias’ mother, Betty Ramirez, called the department to check for updates, but there weren’t any. The calls began to decrease in number. Betty resigned herself to the fact that the brutal murder of her daughter would not be resolved and her appeals stopped.
August 26, 2009: Detective Mike Hardin took on the Patricias case. There was no magic DNA to solve this one. He was going to have to be worked the old-fashioned way with brains, shoe leather, and gut strength.
July 8, 2011: On the 25th anniversary of Patricias’ death, after 85 interviews, 38,000 miles of travel and 400 pages of written reports, Hardin traveled to Brooklyn, New York, to meet Betty. Flowers in hand, he was able to tell her that Thomas Pennington had been charged with manslaughter for the death of his daughter.
In 2015, the Tribunean and the Salt Lake City Desert News both reported that prosecutors dropped the charges against Pennington when it turned out he had an alibi: He was working full time and living in the Kansas area. City and had just been married there when Williams’ murder occurred. . Pennington was subsequently reportedly sentenced to prison for drug trafficking; he said the stress of the murder charge made him relapse. When the charges were dropped, prosecutors said they needed more time to “investigate” the alibi; however, Law & Crime cannot find any indication that the charges have been re-filed. No inmate by the name of Pennington appears on the current list of Utah prisons. His name appears on the state sex offender registry, but his address is listed as unknown.
Bottom line: Hardin is also now on the other side of the law when it comes to violating the US Capitol.
Prosecutors did not seek to jail Hardin before the trial. He was forced to surrender his passport and leave his guns with someone else while his case went to court.
Hardin faces four counts: (1) knowingly entering or remaining in any building or restricted property without legal authorization; (2) disorderly and disruptive behavior in a building or on a restricted site; (3) disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and (4) march, protest or picket in a Capitol building.
Read the loading documents below:
United States vs. Michael Lee Hardin by Law & Crime
[Images via the FBI/U.S. Department of Justice/Federal Court Documents]
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