WASHINGTON — Two men were sentenced to prison as well as fines for forcing their way into the U.S. Senate chamber on Jan. 6.
Beginning on Dec. 31, 2020, three men – Josiah Colt, of Idaho; Nathaniel DeGrave, of Las Vegas; and Ronald Sandlin, of Tennessee – created a private group chat on Facebook to plan for former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021.
DeGrave was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in prison, 36 months supervised release and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. Colt was also sentenced to 15 months in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, 36 months of supervised release and $1,000 in restitution.
According to prosecutors, the men discussed shipping guns to Sandlin’s residence and “filled up” online shopping carts with weapons and paramilitary gear to the Capitol. When they left from Tennessee bound for the District of Columbia, their rental car was loaded up bear spray, gas masks, a handheld stun gun, military-style vests/body armor, helmets, several knives and two guns: a Glock 43 pistol belonging to Colt and a M&P bodyguard pocket pistol belonging to Sandlin. When they entered the Capitol as part of the mob, DeGrave was carrying one of the cans of bear spray and Sandling was armed with a knife, and all three were wearing protective gear.
On Jan. 6, the men watched Trump’s speech on television at a TGI Friday’s in Alexandria, Virginia, before deciding to enter the city and head to the Capitol. The men ultimately did help take the Capitol. They scaled dismantled bike barricades to reach the building and entered through the Upper West Terrace doors at approximately 2:35 p.m.
The men again pushed past police once inside and forced their way into the Senate Gallery. There, Colt climbed down into the Senate Chamber, where DeGrave told him to open doors on the floor below. As Colt ran to the dais where then-Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding just a short time earlier, DeGrave yelled out, “Sit in Pelosi’s seat! That’s your f***ing seat now!”
DeGrave yelled at other rioters to “take laptops, paperwork, take everything, all that s***” before eventually leaving the Senate Chamber. Once outside of the building, he held his arms up triumphantly and yelled, “We f***ing did it… We’re the heroes of this whole f***ing thing.” He later told an unknown individual, “We worked as a team. We were the ones that infiltrated.”
Colt, who became one of the most viral images of the riot thanks to a photograph of him dangling from the Senate balcony, was arrested six days after the riot. He pleaded guilty on July 14, 2021.
DeGrave was arrested at his home two weeks later. He pleaded guilty in June 2022 to two counts: conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding police.
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