A Texas man was found guilty today by a federal jury of civil disorder, obstruction of justice, and other felony charges for his actions before, during, and after the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Guy Wesley Reffitt, 49, of Wylie, Texas, was the first to stand trial among the hundreds of defendants charged in connection with the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol. The verdict followed a trial in the District of Columbia. The jury found Reffitt guilty of five charges, including two counts of civil disorder, and one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, and obstruction of justice.
According to the government’s evidence, Reffitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters, a militia organization, and sent messages recruiting others in the group to join him in traveling to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Among other things, he told the group, “the fuel is set,” and “we will strike the match in D.C. on the 6th.” Another militia member joined Reffitt on the trip, and the two left Texas on Jan. 4 for a trip of more than 1,000 miles in Reffitt’s car. Both men brought along handguns and AR-style rifles.
On the morning of Jan. 6, both went to a rally on the Ellipse before heading to the Capitol. They were wearing body armor and carrying handguns, flexi-cuffs, and radios for communication. Reffitt also had a megaphone as well as a helmet with a camera mounted on the top for recording purposes. His mission, according to the evidence, was to stop Congress from acting. He was specifically targeting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. At one point, Reffitt’s camera recorded him saying, “We’re taking the Capitol before the day is over.”
By approximately 1:50 p.m., Reffitt was at the front of a pack that charged U.S. Capitol Police officers at the terrace on the west side of the Capitol building. He climbed a banister, led the mob up staircases outside the Capitol building, and kept advancing on the officers holding the police line, even as he was struck repeatedly by the officers’ less than lethal projectiles and O.C. spray.
As he kept moving, Reffitt urged others to keep moving forward, too. He eventually made it up the stairs to outside the Senate wing of the Capitol, as others breached the building, but he did not personally go inside. While narrating a video he recorded that day, he stated, “I said I wasn’t leaving till I got in there. I didn’t make it in there. But I started the fire.”
Reffitt later boasted about his actions in conversations with his traveling companion as well as in messages and a meeting with other militia members. He also told his family what he had done and threatened his children to prevent them from reporting him to law enforcement.
Reffitt was arrested on Jan. 16, 2021. He has been detained ever since. He is to be sentenced on June 8, 2022. Each of the two obstruction charges carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm carries a statutory maximum of 10 years. Each of the two civil disorder charges carry a statutory maximum of five years in prison. The charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Frisco Resident Agency of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, and the Austin Resident Agency of the FBI’s San Antonio Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 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.