Tucson woman charged in Capitol riots claims she was recruited by Proud Boys

Tucson woman charged in Capitol riots claims she was recruited by Proud Boys
Felicia and Cory Konold arrested in connected to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan.6, 2021. (Source: The Department of Justice)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An Arizona woman charged in the Jan. 6 riots of the U.S. Capitol reportedly bragged in a Snapchat video that she was recently recruited by a Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys.

Details of the video surfaced last week in a probable cause affidavit against 26-year-old Felicia Konold of Tucson, who is charged with conspiracy, civil disorder and other federal charges stemming from the melee.

Experts who monitor right-wing extremist groups point to the controversy that erupted when former mixed martial arts fighter Tara LaRosa tried in December to establish a Proud Girls offshoot on the social media app Telegram. The Proud Boys’ social media channels quickly responded, calling auxiliary groups such as Proud Boy’s Girls or Proud Girls “ridiculous ideas.”

Alex DiBranco, executive director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism, said there are differences among Proud Boys chapters over whether to embrace women as Proud Girls, even as the group as a whole has become more hostile to women’s auxiliaries in recent years. Mothers of Proud Boys have posted about Proud Boys gatherings they hosted for their sons. But DiBranco said the people in her group who have worked on this topic are still unaware of a situation where a woman was actually recruited to be a member of a Proud Boys’ chapter itself, which is strictly against the Proud Boys rules.

Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that for a period of time there were auxiliary groups of Proud Boys’ Girls made up of the wives and girlfriends of members, but they were not allowed full membership within the group. As far as she knows, none of those auxiliary groups are active right now.

Prosecutors allege that, beginning in December, the Proud Boys encouraged its members to attend the Jan. 6 demonstration in Washington, D.C. A large group of them, including Felicia Konold and other members of the Kansas City cell, was captured on video marching together and later entering the U.S. Capitol.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.