Tuesday, April 9

Jan. 6 rioters who stormed Capitol in gladiator, caveman costumes sentenced to prison

WASHINGTON — Two Donald Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 while wearing costume attire received federal prison sentences Friday, the same day prosecutors secured a string of guilty pleas from other rioters.

Aaron Mostofsky, a 35-year-old man who was dressed as a caveman when he stormed the Capitol, was sentenced to eight months behind bars followed by a year of supervised release.

The Brooklyn resident, whose father is a judge in Kings County Supreme Court in New York, pleaded guilty in February to a felony charge of civil disorder and misdemeanor charges of theft and entering a restricted building. Video showed Mostofsky joining others pushing against a police line outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, and that he was roughly the 12th person to enter into the building after rioters smashed windows to gain entry.

Mostofsky, who had told a friend his costume was meant to illustrate his belief that “even a caveman” knew the 2020 election was stolen, said Friday he was “sorry for the officers that had to deal with that chaos,” the Associated Press reported .

US District Judge James Boasberg said Mostofsky was “on the front lines” of the Capitol siege, which the judge said “imposed an indelible stain on how our nation is perceived,” according to the AP.

Nathan Entrekin, a 49-year-old Arizona man who wore a gladiator costume to portray Captain Moroni from the Book of Mormon, was sentenced to 45 days in prison and three years of probation. Judge Florence Y. Pan said that the gravity of Jan. 6 “cannot be overstated,” and that the mob stormed the building to “subvert the will of the American people, and to essentially overthrow the democratically elected government.”

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An image from a video Entrekin filmed inside the Capitol, included in the Justice Department’s sentencing memo, showed how rioters trashed the Senate Parliamentarian’s office on what Pan called “that dark day.”

A screenshot from a video of the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022, recovered from Entrekin’s phone.United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

Entrekin said he regretted entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6, but stood by his belief that the 2020 election was stolen.

“I was there, with the others, to protest the election results, which I still believe were tampered with,” Entrekin said.

“In retrospect, I am sorry,” he said. “I should’ve just stayed out there on the lawn.”

Trump has continued to promote the lie that a second term was stolen from him and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president

Among the guilty pleas secured by prosecutors Friday was that of Albuquerque Cooper Head, 42, of Tennessee who acknowledged assaulting former DC Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone. Head admitted that he “wrapped his arm around [Fanone’s] neck and pulled him into the crowd of rioters outside the tunnel, yelling, ‘I got one!’”

Another defendant, 27-year-old Jerry Ryals of Oklahoma, pleaded guilty Friday to civil disorder, admitting he filmed himself saying, “We definitely have enough people to overthrow this b—-. They don’t stand a f– -ing chance.”

Earlier this week, former QAnon supporter Marshall Neefe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting officers, admitting he joined members of the mob in ramming a giant blue Trump sign into a line of police officers attempting to protect the Capitol.

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Nearly 800 defendants have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and the Justice Department has the names of hundreds of additional rioters who have not yet been arrested. The Biden administration has requested millions of dollars in additional resources to prosecute Capitol breach cases.

More than 280 defendants have pleaded guilty. The four defendants who faced a jury trial — Thomas Webster, Dustin Thompson, Thomas Robertson and Guy Reffitt — were convicted on all counts. One defendant, Matthew Martin, was acquitted at a bench trial by a Trump-appointed judge.


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