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Rioter who assaulted Capitol police gets 5 years in prison

WASHINGTON — A Tennessee man who authorities say came to Washington before a Jan. 6, 2021, riot prepared for violence in a car full of weapons and assaulted officers trying to defend the Capitol was sentenced on Friday more than five years behind bars.

Ronald Sandlin, 35, of Millington, Tennessee, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to obstruct official process and assaulting, resisting or embarrassing officers.

Ronald Sandlin.FBI

On Friday, two other men were each separately sentenced to four years in prison for their actions related to the riot.

Sandlin, who authorities say bought into the QAnon conspiracy theory, and two other men traveled from Tennessee to the Washington area in a rental car filled with two pistols, two ammo clips, mace boxes of bears, gas masks, bulletproof vests, several knives and other equipment, according to prosecutors.

Two days before the uprising, Sandlin posted a photo on social media of another man lying on his bed holding a gun and wrote, “My fellow patriot…sleeps ready for the Jan 6 boogaloo,” according to court documents. Authorities say “boogaloo” refers to the Civil War.

On Jan. 6, prosecutors said Sandlin led the mob charge against officers at two locations in the Capitol, shoved officers and attempted to rip off the helmet of one of them. He yelled at officers, “Your life isn’t worth it…you’re going to die, get out of the way,” according to court documents.

Inside the building, Sandlin smoked a joint of marijuana in the Capitol rotunda and stole a book from an office, prosecutors say.

Sandlin’s attorney wrote in court documents that his client “allowed himself to believe lies and misinformation.” In a letter to the judge, Sandlin apologized to the officers he assaulted and to Capitol lawmakers.

“I believe January 6, 2021 was a national tragedy for everyone involved and I hope my judgment will help the healing process move forward,” he wrote.

Separately on Friday, Nicholas Ochs, 36, the founder of the Hawaii Proud Boys chapter, and Nicholas DeCarlo, 32, a man from Fort Worth, Texas, who was with Ochs on January 6, were each sentenced to four years in prison. for their roles. in the riot.

Ochs, a former Republican candidate for the Hawaii House of Representatives, and DeCarlo both pleaded guilty in September to obstructing congressional certification of the vote.

Ochs and DeCarlo were captured in a widely shared photo giving a thumbs-up sign outside a Capitol door that had been defaced with the words “Murder the Media,” the name of the social media channel they shared. Authorities say DeCarlo scrawled the words on the door.

They attended the “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on the morning of Jan. 6, then marched to the Capitol together.

The video shows them throwing smoke grenades at a line of police trying to steer the crowd away from the stage set up for Biden’s inauguration, authorities say. DeCarlo also searched a Capitol police officer’s bag and stole a pair of plastic handcuffs, prosecutors said.

Ochs tweeted a photo of the men smoking cigarettes inside the Capitol, and the caption read, “Hello from the capital lol,” according to court documents.

Ochs’ attorney, Ed MacMahon, said in court papers that his client, who served in the Marines, “regrets and is deeply embarrassed by his youthful behavior on display on Capitol Hill.” After the hearing, MacMahon called the punishment “a long jail term for someone who hasn’t committed a single act of violence.”

DeCarlo’s attorney wrote that his client expressed remorse and “in order to help make amends” voluntarily conducted a lengthy interview with the House committee investigating the attack.

Ochs and DeCarlo are among dozens of Proud Boys members and associates who have been charged in the Capitol riot.

The group’s former national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, and other leaders are due to stand trial this month on seditious conspiracy and other serious charges in what authorities say was a plot to prevent Republican Donald Donald’s transfer of presidential power. Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.

More than 900 people have been charged in the riot with offenses ranging from misdemeanors for unlawfully entering the Capitol to seditious conspiracy.

The longest sentence to date was 10 years in prison for a former New York City police officer who used a metal pole to assault an officer at the Capitol.

Last month, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and the group’s Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs were convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the riot. They await judgment.

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