GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley describes arrest by FBI
Ryan Kelley, who spoke to the Free Press before addressing a small Capitol rally Wednesday, said his arrest appears to have helped his name recognition and his campaign.
Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
Republican candidate for governor Ryan Kelley will have to surrender his guns while awaiting trial on misdemeanor criminal charges related to the U.S. Capitol riot, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather made the ruling over objections from Kelley’s attorney that Kelley needs to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense during campaign appearances around the state.
Kelley, who was arrested June 9 during an FBI raid on his Ottawa County home, made his first appearance Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C.
Kelley, 40, who is free on bond, appeared via Zoom but is scheduled to appear in person in federal court in Washington on July 7 for a preliminary hearing.
Kelley, who according to a new Free Press poll is the current front-runner among five Republican candidates for governor, is charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence against a person or property, and willfully injuring property, according to a criminal complaint.
Generally, all of those misdemeanors carry penalties of up to one year in prison and fines of up to $100,000 on each charge.
Gary Springstead, a Fremont, Michigan, lawyer and former FBI agent representing Kelley, asked Meriweather to make an exception for Kelley to the firearm ban — which has been a standard condition of release for about 800 people charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Kelley “is a bit of a high-profile candidate in Michigan,” but his campaign has no paid security, Springstead said.
Kelley has a concealed pistol license, and “he asked that he be permitted to carry his firearm for his own self-defense, during the campaign.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederick Yette objected to making an exception for Kelley, and the judge agreed.
“I do understand the concern,” about self-defense, she said, but the court has to consider other factors, including the safety of pre-trial services officials who will need to visit Kelley’s home, she said.
Kelley was also required to surrender his passport.