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Judge denies Barnett’s request to go to car swap meet; Arkansan arrested in Capitol riot had asked to travel

by Bill Bowden | June 18, 2021 at 12:20 p.m.
Richard Barnett (Washington County sheriff's office & special to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette/AFP via Getty Images/Saul Loeb)

A Gravette man charged in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot can't go to Petit Jean Mountain today for a classic-car swap meet, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Richard "Bigo" Barnett, 61, is currently allowed to travel 50 miles from his residence while under house arrest.

Barnett requested a change allowing him to travel to Petit Jean Mountain, which is about 200 miles away, and spend the night in the vicinity. The Mid-America Old Time Auto Association car show and swap meet is being held on Petit Jean through Saturday.

During a teleconference court hearing Tuesday in the District of Columbia, Barnett’s attorney, Joseph McBride of New York City, said Barnett's "primary" income is from buying and selling classic cars and car parts. McBride said Barnett needs to travel beyond the 50-mile radius to be able to make a living.

Federal prosecutors opposed the motion, saying among other things that Barnett has several sources of income, including "a joint venture acquiring and managing rental properties across the state; and selling home décor."

In a minute order Friday morning, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in the District of Columbia denied Barnett's request.

"The court is not persuaded that the defendant cannot pursue gainful employment within a 50-mile radius of his home as permitted by the current conditions," according to the order.

Barnett became famous after posing for pictures with his feet propped on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

A grand jury indicted Barnett on seven charges, including 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(1) and (b)(1) (A), entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The weapon was a ZAP Hike N’ Strike 950,000 Volt Stun Gun Walking Stick that Barnett purchased at Bass Pro Shops in Rogers on Dec. 31, according to court filings.

Print Headline: Judge denies Barnett’s request to go to car swap meet


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