Ex-Salt Lake City ‘officer of the year’ arrested for role in Capitol riot: feds

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A former Salt Lake City police “officer of the year” has been arrested for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

FBI agents took Michael Lee Hardin, 50, of Kaysville, Utah, into custody without incident Friday on multiple charges related to his presence in the US Capitol that day.

Hardin retired from the Salt Lake City Police Department in 2017, a department rep told the Salt Lake Tribune.

FBI agents allegedly nailed Hardin through tips from two of his friends. One of the pals provided texts in which Hardin said he was inside the Capitol and declared Trump “the rightful President,” authorities said. The other person provided a photograph of him allegedly inside the building.

According to a 2012 Salt Lake City Police Department press release, Hardin was named “officer of the year” that year for solving the 1986 murder of 20-year-old woman who went missing for five days before turning up dead on the side of a local road with signs of strangulation.

Then-Detective Hardin worked the case for nearly two years, beginning in 2009, ultimately pinning Thomas Pennington for the murder, the release said.

The Trump-supporting retired cop now faces multiple charges related to his presence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to the official complaint filed against in him in federal court Friday.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and not to leave Utah, the Tribune said. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m.

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