Court Battles

Wife of FBI task force member arrested in connection with Capitol riot

The wife of a detective attached to an FBI task force in Pittsburgh was charged for allegedly taking part in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Jennifer Marie Heinl, 55, was charged in an FBI criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia on Wednesday. She is facing several federal charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. 

Heinl reportedly told investigators that she had gone to Washington alone on Jan. 5 and returned the next day, and she claimed she did not go inside the Capitol.

The FBI said in a criminal complaint that she entered the Capitol with another man, Kenneth Grayson. The two had been in communications through Facebook for several weeks discussing travel plans.

Surveillance video shows Heinl, wearing a red “Trump 20” jersey, walking through the Capitol Rotunda, Capitol Crypt and other restricted areas. 

Grayson is also seen with her inside the Rotunda. He was identified by his QAnon sweatshirt and allegedly admitted to investigators that he “expressed a feeling or need to kill, and that included current President Joe Biden.”

Heinl was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, local outlet WPXI reported. She will be arraigned in D.C. federal court next week.

She is married to Mike Heinl, a Shaler police detective who has been assigned to the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force for three years, working on bank robberies and child predator cases, according to his boss.

Shaler Police Chief Sean Frank told TribLive on Friday that Mike Heinl did not condone his wife’s participation in the insurrection.

“She’s responsible for her actions,” Frank said. “It’s unfortunate he’s becoming the focal point of this investigation.”

Frank said that Mike Heinl, who was on duty at the time of the protest, asked his wife not to go.

“She apparently told him ‘I’m going to the rally,’” Frank said. “He had no idea it would be more than that.”

An expert negotiator who leads a response team, Mike Heinl is known as a thorough investigator, Frank said.

“He’s very disappointed in the actions of his wife,” Frank said. “He doesn’t blame the FBI. They have a job to do.”

A spokeswoman for FBI Pittsburgh told the outlet: “We have nothing to add, officially.”

Records obtained by TribLive indicate that Mike Heinl filed for divorce on Feb. 19. The couple had been married since October 2013.

Tags Capitol riot FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation insurrection Jan 6. Joe Biden QAnon

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