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Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' shirt, photographed at U.S. Capitol riot, has been arrested

Robert Keith Packer of Virginia was taken into custody a week after the deadly, anti-democracy uprising.
/ Source: NBC News

The man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" shirt who was photographed at last week's deadly pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested in Virginia on Wednesday, jail records showed.

Robert Keith Packer, a 56-year-old Newport News resident, was booked into Western Tidewater Regional Jail by the U.S. Marshals Service at 8:53 a.m., according to inmate records.

Robert Keith Packer wears a "Camp Auschwitz" shirt during protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.EOG

The FBI's Norfolk Joint Terrorism Task Force "arrested Robert Keith Packer of Newport News and Douglas Allen Sweet of Grimstead, Virginia on federal charges related to their role in the events at the U.S. Capitol" last week, FBI spokeswoman Christina Pullen said in a statement.

Packer is expected to be charged with unlawful conduct, entering the Capitol without permission and disorderly conduct.

A bearded white man wearing a long-sleeved "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt was among the most striking images snapped at last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when mobs incited by outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the building in hopes of overturning President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

Auschwitz was one the most notorious death camps run by Nazis during the Holocaust and World War II. Packer’s sweatshirt also includes the words “Work Brings Freedom,” in apparent homage to the German phrase “Arbeit macht frei" which was emblazoned at the gates of Auschwitz and other death camps.

Sydney Cohen, a Hampton, Virginia resident, said Packer owns the vacant lot near her home. She said the man pictured in the "Camp Auschwitz" shirt and defendant's mug shot listed in Western Tidewater Regional Jail records are the same person.

"I think seeing things on television is one thing, you can shake your head and be worried," Cohen told NBC News on Wednesday. "But it's a different feeling to have someone that you know personally to be involved (in the riots)."

Cohen said she shudders thinking about Packer possibly harboring anti-Semitic beliefs.

"He knows my name," said Cohen, 53. "It's a malice I didn't know about and it's scary."

It wasn't immediately clear if Packer had hired an attorney. A representative for the local federal public defender said the office had received Packer's name for possible representation, but no court had assigned him counsel by late Wednesday morning.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com.