Judge declares Pollock a fugitive after Lakeland resident fails to appear for trial in D.C.
LAKELAND — Olivia Pollock of Lakeland is officially listed as a fugitive after failing to appear in court Monday for her scheduled trial on charges related to the U.S. Capitol attack.
Pollock, 32, disappeared a week earlier, when a pre-trial services agency detected that her GPS monitoring device had been tampered with or removed. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued a bench warrant for her arrest, but the FBI had not been able to locate Pollock as of Friday afternoon, said Joe Boland, Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI’s Lakeland office.
Nichols also issued a bench warrant last week for Joseph Hutchinson III, formerly of Lakeland and now living in Georgia, after federal employees detected that Hutchinson’s GPS ankle monitor had ceased signaling on Feb. 27, the same day that Pollock’s device failed.
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The FBI did not report any new details on Pollock of Hutchinson as of Monday afternoon.
Pollock, one of seven current or former Polk County residents charged in connection with the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, joined her younger brother, Jonathan Pollock, as a fugitive from justice. Jonathan, 24, was not present when FBI agents arrested Olivia at the family’s property in the Kathleen area on June 30, 2021.
The FBI has offered a reward of up to $30,000 for information leading to Jonathan Pollock’s arrest.
Olivia Pollock is charged with assaulting law-enforcement officers, entering and remaining in restricted grounds, disrupting government activities and engaging in violence on the U.S. Capitol grounds.
Pollock was scheduled to appear Monday morning before Nichols in Washington, D.C. Nichols would have presided over a bench trial, as Pollock had waived her right to a trial by jury.
But Pollock did not appear, according to records from U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Nichols severed Pollock’s case from those of her two co-defendants, Joshua Doolin of Polk City and Michael Perkins of Plant City. Their trial is scheduled for Tuesday.
Nichols rescheduled Olivia Pollock’s trial for Aug. 7 and joined her case with that of Hutchinson. Originally a co-defendant with Pollock, Doolin and Perkins, Hutchinson had his case severed after requesting to represent himself at trial.
Pollock’s lawyer, Elita C. Amato of Arlington, Virginia, did not respond to a voicemail left Monday morning.
Prosecutors released Pollock on a signature bond, which does not require any payment, following her arrest in June 2021. Under the terms of her release, Pollock was restricted to the jurisdiction of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, had to surrender her passport and weapons and was required to make weekly calls to the pre-trial services agency.
The release order specifies that a defendant commits a separate crime by failing to appear in court for a scheduled proceeding. Based on the charges against Pollock, it appears that she faces potential penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
If Pollock surrenders or is captured, she will face a hearing before Nichols, who could decide to revoke her bond and have her held in custody until trial.
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Hutchinson, 26, is a friend of the Pollock family and previously worked in a Lakeland gun store operated by Gabriel Pollock, the older brother of Olivia and Jonathan. Hutchinson has lived in Fitzgerald, Georgia, since soon after his indictment in 2021.
Court records show that he has received permission at least four times since then to travel back to the Lakeland area, including for Doolin’s wedding and most recently in December.
A reporter visited the Pollock property Monday morning, where several family members live on adjoining parcels. A woman standing in the front yard of the main house declined an interview request, and a woman in an adjoining mobile home said she had no comment.
A “Trump 2020” billboard that has stood at the front of the property since before that year’s election remained in place, but a smaller sign reading “Free the political prisoners” was gone.
Gabriel Pollock was working Monday morning at Rapture Guns & Knives, his business in North Lakeland. Taking time to talk between assisting customers, he said he had last seen his sister on Feb. 24, when she was preparing for her trial.
Pollock said he was surprised by Olivia’s disappearance last week.
“I mean, I can understand why she would do it,” said Gabriel, 33. “I mean, there's people out there that are not getting any justice. It's a sham. It's a mockery of a court. The DOJ (Department of Justice) is clearly — they’ve sold out. It’s a weaponized system used by the Democrats now. So, yeah, I understand why it would come to that, but it was a surprise.”
Pollock said an FBI agent had visited his store the previous week and asked him questions about Olivia.
Gabriel Pollock and other family members have criticized the prosecutions of Jan. 6 defendants in videos recorded by an independent journalist and posted on YouTube but later removed. Pollock’s political leanings were apparent in displays at his gun store: a “Let’s Go Brandon” flag, a poster parodying Smokey Bear with the statement “Only you can prevent socialism” and a tip jar on the counter reading labeled “Free the political prisoners donation.”
Pollock said his father, Ben Pollock, regularly joins videochats with family members of defendants being held in jail on charges related to the U.S. Capitol attack. He recited allegations of their mistreatment by guards.
The Pollock family has passed two Christmas and two birthdays without Jonathan Pollock, the most recent birthday less than three weeks ago. With Olivia now a fugitive, Gabriel was asked if he is prepared never to see his brother or sister again.
“Yeah,” he said. “I mean, I always hoped that the country is going to wake up and realize just the absolute corruption that's in place right now. I mean, that's my brother and sister, so yes, I always hope to see them again. But I do realize where the country is at. If you have a differing opinion from what the selected leaders do — they weren't elected, you know — then they're coming after you and they're going to hammer you down.”
Gary White can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.