A Tennessee man was sentenced today on felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Michael Lee Roche, 28, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and $2,000 restitution, for obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, entering and remaining on the floor of Congress, disorderly conduct in a capitol building or grounds, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building. Roche was found guilty on March 10, 2023, following a stipulated trial.
According to court documents, at approximately 2:42 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, a crowd that had amassed outside the Senate Parliamentarian Door successfully breached open the door allowing rioters to pour into the Capitol. Three minutes later, at approximately 2:45p.m., Roche entered the Capitol with a crowd of rioters. Roche paraded through the Capitol. At approximately 3:01 p.m., Roche was part of a crowd that confronted and overwhelmed officers and forced them further down one of the hallways. Roche proceeded to the Senate floor where he found Jacob Chansley behind the Vice President’s desk. Roche walked over and stood next to Chansley. At approximately 3:04 p.m., Roche began shouting while raising his arms, “Jesus Christ, we invoke your name! Amen!” Roche remained on the Senate Floor behind the Vice President’s desk for approximately seven minutes, at one point, picking up a bible that was on the desk, holding it up in the air, and posing for a photo. Roche exited the Senate Floor at approximately 3:10 p.m.
Outside the Capitol Building, Roche appeared in a video that was posted to Facebook, stating: My name is Michael Roche. We’re here in Washington, D.C. We did get a chance to storm the Capitol. And we made it into the chamber… We managed to convince the cops to let us through. They listened to reason. And when we got into the chamber … we all started praying and shouting in the name of Jesus Christ, and inviting Christ back into our state capitol.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Memphis Field Office – Nashville Resident Agency, and Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.