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Man who drove stun gun into Officer Fanone's neck pleads guilty to four felonies

Daniel Rodriguez, of California, entered a plea of guilty to felony counts of obstruction, conspiracy and inflicting bodily injury with a dangerous weapon.

WASHINGTON — A California man charged with assaulting former DC Police Officer Mike Fanone with a stun gun on Jan. 6 could be looking at years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to four felony counts.

Daniel Rodriguez, 39, of Panorama City, California, was scheduled to begin trial along with co-defendant Edward Badalian later this month on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, theft of government property and assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon. Instead, he appeared before U.S. District Judge Amy B. Jackson on Tuesday to plead guilty to four counts:

  • Conspiracy;
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding;
  • Tampering with documents;
  • Inflicting bodily injury on an officer with a dangerous weapon.

According to the statement of facts he agreed to, Rodriguez repeatedly drove an electroshock device into Fanone’s neck after the officer was dragged out of the Lower West Terrace Tunnel and into the crowd during the Capitol riot. He then entered the Capitol and attempted to break a window while encouraging others to "look for intel." Afterward, he bragged in a Telegram group that he'd "tased the f*** out of the blue." He also pleaded guilty to destroying evidence in an attempt to keep it from a grand jury.

Kyle Young, an Iowa man who gave Rodriguez the stun gun and helped to restrain Fanone, pleaded guilty last year to assaulting police and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Albuquerque Cosper Head, the Tennessee construction worker who dragged Fanone into the mob, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Jackson, who sentenced both men, is also the judge assigned to Rodriguez’s case.

Although a presentencing report will have to be completed, Jackson said the preliminary calculations in the plea agreement could have Rodriguez facing a recommended sentencing guideline of 8-10 years in prison. A sentencing hearing was set for May 16.

Prosecutors noted in court the plea agreement does allow them to seek a terrorism enhancement that could potentially add even more years to Rodriguez's sentence, although it's not clear they will actually request it. Another judge denied the Justice Department's request for the terrorism enhancement last year in the case of Texas Three Percenter Guy Reffitt.

At trial, Rodriguez would have faced a recorded interview he gave to the FBI in which he confessed to the assault on Fanone and said he had answered former President Donald Trump’s call to “battle” on Jan. 6.

“We thought we were being used as a part of a plan to save the country, to save America, save the Constitution, and the election, the integrity,” Rodriguez said. “We thought that we were going to save America, and we were wrong.”

When asked about the assault on Fanone, who has since left the police force, Rodriguez told agents he was ashamed of what he’d done.

“If I could go back… I wouldn’t do it again,” Rodriguez said. “But what I did, I can’t undo it… I’m embarrassed by it and I’m ashamed by it.”

Jury selection for Rodriguez's co-defendant, Badalian, was scheduled to begin Feb. 27. Another defendant charged alongside Young and Head, Thomas Sibick, of New York, is still awaiting trial as well in connection with the assault on Fanone. While other rioters were attacking the officer, prosecutors say Sibick robbed Fanone of his badge and radio. Sibick then returned home with the badge to New York and buried it in his backyard. Fanone’s radio has never been recovered.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

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