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Former SLCPD officer arrested in connection with Jan. 6 breach of U.S. Capitol

Posted at 1:34 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 15:19:49-04

WASHINGTON — A Kaysville man was arrested on federal charges Friday morning in connection with the January 6 breach at the United States Capitol.

50-year old Michael Lee Hardin appeared in a federal hearing Friday afternoon, on four charges related to allegations he unlawfully entered the Capitol building. Evidence in the case includes pictures that the FBI says show Hardin in the building during the insurrection.

A Salt Lake City Police Department representative confirmed Hardin served as an officer and detective with SLCPD before his retirement in 2017. Past records show Hardin served in law enforcement for 20 years, and received the Officer of the Year award in 2012 for solving a cold case murder.

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According to a statement by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer, two people who know Hardin tipped off the FBI.

One person said Hardin called them to say he was going to Washington, D.C. to "fight for the United States," and then sent them text messages on January 6 that said: “We stormed the Capitol, I am in here now!”; “I know you don’t like Trump, but He is the rightful President!”; and “We will return until we win!”

Another person said one of Hardin's relatives sent them a photo of him standing next to the bust of Abraham Lincoln in the Capitol Crypt. That relative, the person said, "claimed to have received the photo from HARDIN directly via text message on or about January 6, 2021."

The Task Force Officer also made use of location data information obtained via a search warrant served on Google.

"In this case, Google location data shows that a device associated with [an email address allegedly belonging to Hardin] was within the U.S. Capitol at coordinates associated with the center of the Capitol building, which I know includes the Crypt, starting at approximately 2:27 p.m. EST. Google records show that the 'maps display radius' for this location data was 15 meters," the statement says. "The information for that address did not match any information for persons lawfully within the Capitol. Accordingly, your affiant believes that the individual possessing this device was not authorized to be within the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021."

FBI Special Agents and members of FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force received assistance from the Utah State Bureau of Investigations in serving an arrest warrant issued by the United States Court District of Columbia to take Hardin into custody. He was arrested without incident.

According to a news release from the FBI, Hardin faces charges of Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority, Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building, and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.

Federal records show only one political contribution for Hardin. A week after Election Day, he gave $50 to a Republican fundraising platform. President Trump was claiming election fraud and encouraging his supporters to contribute to finance his challenges.

RELATED: Company fires employee who wore work badge during U.S. Capitol breach

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This photo, which was included in a "Statement of Facts" document by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer, purports to show Michael Lee Hardin inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
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This photo, which was included in a "Statement of Facts" document by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer, purports to show Michael Lee Hardin inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
hardin-3.png
This photo, which was included in a "Statement of Facts" document by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer, purports to show Michael Lee Hardin inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.