A Beavercreek man previously arrested for attempting to break into the Oregon State Capitol is now charged with jumping a security fence at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland and firing five shots at the building.
Cody Melby, 39, is a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War, a former Oregon National Guard member and the owner of a window treatment store in Oregon City, according to a statement he posted to YouTube on Jan. 5 and his since-deactivated LinkedIn page.
On Jan. 6, he participated in a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem and was arrested by Oregon State Police after allegedly being seen “attempting to access several doors” at the Capitol.
Troopers said he was taken into custody for trespassing while in possession of a firearm.
Two days later, Melby was allegedly at the federal courthouse in Portland, the center of large and sometimes violent demonstrations that raged throughout the summer in protest of systemic racism and racially motivated violence at the hands of police.
According to Billy J. Williams, U.S. attorney for Oregon, Melby jumped a security fence that was a remnant of those nightly protests and fired several rounds into the building’s exterior from a 9mm pistol.
Two courthouse security officers exited the building and approached Melby after observing him on a closed-circuit security camera at approximately 7:35 p.m. Friday.
According to the complaint filed in his case, Melby told the officers he had a gun and the officers handcuffed him without further incident.
Federal officers dispatched to the scene located five spent 9mm bullet casings, three spent bullets, three bullet holes in plywood affixed to the building’s stone columns, and damage to the metal soffit above the building’s main entrance.
Melby made his first appearance in federal court Monday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Portland.
In the Jan. 5 video, which appears to have been taken in front of the Oregon State Capitol, Melby reads a statement advancing various conspiracy theories that Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election was illegitimate, and that the contest had been “stolen” from current President Donald Trump.
At one point, he reads a lengthy list of federal, state and local politicians and other officials — mainly Democrats or nonpartisan judges — he claims were part of the theft.
“The only way to effect nonpartisan detention of the traitors of our republic is we must utilize the military,” Melby says. “The Insurrection Act is now in play. President Trump set the conditions for this. He has said the word ‘treason’ on his official Twitter. That’s really all that’s needed.”
In the video, Melby calmly advances a plan by which cells of military service members and veterans would operate domestically to detain American citizens — and he volunteers to head up the effort.
“I would lead these operations, and would do so as a service to this country for free,” he says. “I make enough in my retirement to do so. I do not want any compensation from the taxpayers.”
The statement is the result of what Melby described as a year-long investigation into national security and election integrity.
“Throughout my investigation, I have been silenced by Twitter and Facebook,” he says in the YouTube-hosted video. “Both of my accounts have been suspended in the past 180 days. I received no official notification or explanation. This technocratic regime, with foreign ties and loyalties, gives credence to President Trump’s complaints about suppression.”
Melby and the Jan. 8 incident are being investigated by the FBI and the Federal Protective Service.