PF arrests peace officer in RO suspected of sponsoring vandalism in Brasília; another investigated is on the run

In addition to the pastor and justice of the peace, the Federal Police is searching for a fugitive from justice in Rondônia, who financed the purchase of fuel used in the attacks (Art: Thiago Alencar/CENARIUM MAGAZINE)
Iury Lima – Cenarium Magazine

VILHENA (RO) – A Justice of the peace and evangelical pastor from Rondônia, identified as Joel Pires Santana, 40 years old, was arrested this Thursday, 29, by the Federal Police (PF), in the city of São Francisco do Guaporé, 600 kilometres from Porto Velho. His arrest is part of an operation that aims to identify sponsors of acts of vandalism that occurred in Brasilia, last December 12. A second suspect is on the run.

The episode became known as the “day of the break-in”, part of the anti-democratic acts that call for military intervention and contest the result of the polls in the second round of the presidential election, which elected Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to a new term in office this year.

Evangelical pastor and justice of the peace from Rondônia was arrested by PF, suspected of sponsoring vandalism in Brasilia (Social Networks/Reproduction)

Another man, of 33 years, identified as Ricardo Yukio Aoyama, It is also the target of federal agents, trying to fulfill arrest warrant against him. The suspect lives in the city of Ariquemes, 200 kilometres from the capital, and presents itself, in social networks, as a supporter of the President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

Ricardo Yukio Aoyama bought fuel used in the attacks, according to the PF. He is considered a fugitive from justice (Reproduction/Federal Police)


The arrest of the pastor and justice of the peace was determined by Federal Supreme Court (STF) and Superior Electoral Court (TSE) minister Alexandre de Moraes.

Santana participated in extremist acts in front of the Army Headquarters, in the Urban Military Sector (SMU), in the federal capital, and was one of the sponsors of the acts of vandalism recorded in the city.

On social networks, the investigated boasts photos and posts in defence of a military intervention, hate speeches and manifestations of support for Bolsonaro. He also makes posts about working as a pastor and justice of the peace, a function that does not require a contest or specific qualification. In this activity, Santana celebrates civil marriages, for example.

Joel Pires Santana boasts photos in anti-democratic acts and demonstrations of support for Jair Bolsonaro on the networks (Reproduction/Social networks)

In the house of Ricardo Aoyama, the police seized a gun, four magazines and several ammunition. He was responsible for the purchase of fuel during the acts of vandalism in Brasilia, when buses and cars were set on fire, according to the PF.

Ricardo was not at home when police arrived and is considered a fugitive from justice. He and Joel Santana are linked to extremist groups, in messaging applications, according to investigations.

Operation Nero

In support of the PF, civil police officers of the Federal District fulfill 32 warrants against suspects of participation in the acts of vandalism. In Rondônia, are eight search and seizure warrants and five preventive detention warrants, targeting the cities of Alto Paraíso and Monte Negro, besides São Francisco and Ariquemes; all within the state.

Operation Nero, as it was named, in allusion to the Roman emperor who set fire to Rome, in 64 AD, also investigates the attempted invasion of the headquarters of the Federal Police, in Brasilia, occurred on the same day of violent protests.

Besides vandalism in the central region, extremists tried to invade the headquarters of the Federal Police in the Federal District (Reproduction)

Court orders were also issued against suspects in the states of Mato Grosso, Pará, Tocantins, Ceará, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as Rondônia and the Federal District.

“The suspects would have tried to invade the PF headquarters with the aim of rescuing a man arrested by the institution on the 12th. After being frustrated, they would have started a series of acts of vandalism in the city. The two investigations were forwarded, due to declining jurisdiction, to the Supreme Court”, explains the Federal Police in a statement.

If convicted of the crimes of aggravated damage, arson, criminal association, violent abolition of the democratic rule of law and coup d’état, the investigators could be imprisoned for up to 34 years.


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