More Rioters Just Got Prison Time for Actions on January 6

A Proud Boys member and another man threw smoke bombs at Capitol police and defaced a door with a threat to murder the press.

Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. John Minchillo/AP

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The Justice Department announced on Friday that Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii Proud Boys chapter, was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Nicholas DeCarlo, who was photographed at the Capitol with Ochs, was also sentenced to four years. Both men had previously pled guilty.

Members of Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist group comprised of self-described “Western chauvinists,” have helped promote the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. In recent months, Proud Boys members from across the country have been sentenced to prison time for their actions during the January 6 insurrection, including one who received a four year and seven month sentence after joining a mob going after Capitol police and coming within seconds of Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. In October, a North Carolina leader of the group pled guilty to seditious conspiracy related to his actions on January 6. A New Jersey leader pled guilty to “interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder” the same month.

Before entering the Capitol on January 6, Ochs and DeCarlo threw smoke bombs at police outside, according to the Justice Department. They were then photographed in front of a door inside the Capitol on which DeCarlo had written “Murder the Media,” the name of their social media channel on Telegram. DeCarlo also took plastic handcuffs from a Capitol Police duffel bag.

After leaving the building, Ochs apologized to his audience for not livestreaming the ordeal. “[S]orry we couldn’t go live when we stormed the f—-in’ U.S. Capitol and made Congress flee,” he said.

In a court filing, Ochs’ attorney Edward B. MacMahon said his client “recognizes the gravity of his involvement in the events at the Capitol on January 6.” He described his client as someone who grew up in a “warm and supportive family” before serving in the Marines, getting married, and becoming a father. MacMahon asked for a prison sentence of less than 18 months. 

Judge Beryll Howell took a harder line. Along with the four-year sentence, she ordered that Ochs pay a $5,000 fine and $2,000 of restitution to the Architect of the Capitol. She also ordered DeCarlo to pay restitution.

Roughly 900 people from all 50 states have now been charged as a result of their actions on January 6, the Justice Department added in announcing the sentences. By August of this year, 72 cases had led to prison sentences. The longest sentence thus far, 10 years, was doled out in September to a retired New York police officer who swung a metal flagpole at Washington, DC policeman and later claimed he was acting in self-defense. 

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