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Men From Alabama and Texas Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach

In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

An Alabama man was found guilty on January 13 of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 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 presidential election.

Joshua Matthew Black, 46, of Leeds, Alabama, was found guilty after a trial in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings; entering and remaining on the floor of Congress; and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Black was among a mob of rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. He entered the Capitol Building and was captured in photographs and on video, posted to social media sites, standing on the floor of the Senate chamber. Black later posted a video to YouTube in which he discussed entering the Capitol and the floor of the Senate chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.  He explained that “once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election, like officially, the . . . crowd went crazy. I mean, . . .  it became a mob.  We crossed the gate, we got up.”  He also admitted carrying a knife to the Capitol because “you’re not allowed to carry guns in DC and I don’t like being defenseless.” 

During a search of his residence on Jan. 14, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recovered the knife Black admitted he carried at the Capitol. The FBI arrested him later that day at a police station in Moody, Alabama. 

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson has scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 5, 2023.

The charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon carry a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years. The charge of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years. The charges of entering and remaining on the floor of Congress and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building carry up to six months. All charges carry potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Birmingham, Alabama and Washington Field Offices, Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. The case is being 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 Northern District of Alabama.

A Texas man was also found guilty in the District of Columbia on January 13 of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 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 presidential election.

Robert Wayne Dennis, 63, of Garland, TX, was found guilty of civil disorder, two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, all felonies, and three misdemeanor charges, including: engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings. The verdict followed a bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, who scheduled sentencing for April 13, 2023.

According to evidence presented at trial, Dennis was captured on video on Jan. 6 near the stairs to the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department formed a police line to act as a barrier against the crowd. While law enforcement officers were attempting to control the crowd, numerous people began charging and striking them, including Dennis. At approximately 2:51 p.m., Dennis charged the line of officers. One officer, identified in court documents as “Officer J.S.,” attempted to use a baton to push him away. Dennis then grabbed “Officer CW’s” baton and took “Officer J.S.” to the ground after a violent struggle in which he threw punches at the officer. During the struggle, the baton belonging to “Officer J.S.” was knocked out of his hands.  Dennis was also charged with assaulting “Officer CW.” 

Dennis was arrested on October 20, 2021, in Texas.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, as well as the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

Read more at the Department of Justice

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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