The U.S. Attorney’s office is working with the F.B.I.; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; United States Marshals Service; U.S. Capitol Police Department; and the Metropolitan Police Department to bring charges against those who entered the U.S. capitol building on January 6, 2021. Multiple charges have been filed against some individuals while the investigators still are searching for others. In all, 55 people face charges from the events surrounding the breeching of the nation’s capital.
Cleveland Meredity reportedly made threats against Speaker Nancy Pelosi using his cell phone, so police have charged him with interstate threats after he purportedly said he would shoot the speaker or run over her with his truck. If found guilty of this charge alone, he could be facing up to 20 years in prison. He also showed investigators that he had three guns and numerous ammunition rounds, which is against Washington D.C.’s strict gun code. According to the code, he could be facing another 10 years on gun charges.
Investigators have identified Richard Barnett as the man who was widely seen sitting behind Speaker Pelosi’s desk. Authorities have charged him with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He can be given up to a six-month jail term under 18 U.S.C. 1752 for this violation. Additionally, many saw Barnett waving personal mail addressed to Pelosi when he was interviewed by the New York Times shortly after leaving the capitol. 18 U.S.C. section 641 says that theft of the letter is punishable by up to a 10-year prison term if persecutors can prove that the letter was worth more than $1,000 or if he took other property too.
Authorities contend that Lonnie Coffman had an explosive device and an unregistered firearm. They also claim that they found 11 Molotov cocktails and other explosive devices in his vehicle. Video footage shows allegedly shows him exiting the car near the Republic and Democratic national headquarters shows one individual wearing a parka with a patch on it like the one that Coffman was wearing when police arrested him. When arrested, he reportedly had an unregistered 9 mm Smith & Weston and a 22-caliber handgun. He is set to go before a judge on January 12, 2021.
Authorities charged Joshua Pruitt with entering or remaining in a restricted building. The government can press these charges, which are different from those presented if someone breaks into a home or business, when one or more people are present who have a high level of Secret Service clearance. Since Vice President Pence, Nancy Pelosi and others were in the building, this law applies. Joshua was arrested and released in district court. His next court appearance is set for January 28, 2021.
Authorities contend that Mark Leffingwell entered the U.S. Capitol before striking an officer in the helmet and chest. Capitol Police Officer Daniel Amendola says that Leffingwell punched him repeatedly with a closed fist. Amendola goes on to say that Leffingwell later apologized to him spontaneously. In addition to being charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building, Leffingwell is charged with assault against a federal officer. Under section 1114 of the 18 U.S. Code, he could be fined no more than $5,000 and imprisoned for up to three years.
In addition to the entry or remaining in the U.S. Capitol unlawfully, Christopher Alberts is also charged with having a Taurus G2C semi-automatic handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition. Police detained Alberts about 7 p.m. Wednesday as they tried to get people to obey the Washington D.C. mayor’s curfew. He appeared in district court and was released. He is to appear in court again on January 28.
The government has charged several individuals with almost the same charges of entering or remaining in a restricted building, impeding government business and being disorderly on the U.S. Capitol grounds. These individuals include Cindy Fitchett, Michael Curzio, Douglas Sweet and Bradley Ruskelas, Terry Brown, Thomas Gallagher and Adam Johnson.
It is unclear precisely what charges face some of the other protestors. There is also a chance that charges will increase since the attack claimed the lives of four individuals. These individuals have the right to be represented by their attorneys before any charges are upheld in the court of law.
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