FBI surrounds Champaign County apartment in connection to D.C. riots, man says

WOODSTOCK, Champaign County — The FBI surrounded a residence in Woodstock early Sunday morning after receiving a court order to be in the rural village to conduct a search.

“The FBI was conducting court authorized law enforcement activity in that area this morning,” a spokesman for the FBI said. “No further information can be released at this time.”

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Video obtained by News Center 7 on Facebook shows several FBI vehicles around a building at the intersection of East Bennett and Main streets around 6 a.m. Authorities had what appeared to be a spotlight fixed on the second story.

“Jessica Watkins this is the FBI with a warrant. Come to the back door with your hands up and empty,” an FBI officer is heard saying over a bullhorn in the video.

Jessica Watkins was identified as a Champaign County bartender who runs a self-identified militia and was in Washington D.C. during the Jan. 6 riots, according to a recent Ohio Capital Journal report.

News Center 7 spoke by phone with a man who said he was briefly detained by the FBI following this morning’s standoff in Woodstock. He said he was the long-term boyfriend of Watkins.

“They were interested in her for questioning her regarding that event and she will be turning herself in later today,” the man said. “She never went that day to perform any illicit acts, let alone anything that would be approaching the charge of terrorism or domestic insurrection.”

Watkins was arrested by federal authorities and booked overnight in the Montgomery County Jail.

It’s not immediately clear what charges she could face.

The man said Watkins did make it inside the Capitol Rotunda.

“We’ve had a few people who contacted us on Facebook before that account was banned, but a few people just contacting to saying the FBI is going to get you,” the man said.

Watkins was not home when the FBI surrounded the home this morning, the man said.