WASHINGTON — A federal judge sentenced a former Virginia rapper who used an image of himself at the Capitol riot on an album cover to five months in prison on Monday.
Antionne Brodnax, who performs under the name “Bugzie the Don,” pleaded guilty in October 2021 to four misdemeanor counts after rejecting a plea deal for a single count. Brodnax, who moved to Georgia following his arrest, entered the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and used a photograph of himself smoking on a vehicle outside as the cover of an album titled “The Capital.”
Prosecutors argued he should spend 21 months in prison, saying the lengthy sentence was warranted for a misdemeanor case because of Brodnax’s significant criminal history. That includes prior felony convictions in Virginia and Maryland for manufacturing a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The Justice Department also said Brodnax deserved a sentencing enhancement for deleting evidence from his phone after promising he would send photographs and videos of the riot to the FBI. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman agreed, ruling Brodnax had willfully obstructed the administration of justice.
Brodnax’s attorney, Mary Maguire, argued for a probationary sentence with a period of home detention, if necessary. In court filings, she described Brodnax as an entrepreneur – he has a small clothing line and music label – and a “great community asset.”
Before delivering his sentence, Friedman noted his concern over Brodnax’s long criminal history, a litany of disciplinary issues while in custody and the fact he was on probation for another crime when he entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“He’s had a problem historically with following conditions imposed upon him,” Friedman said.
Ultimately, Friedman ordered Brodnax to serve five months in prison to be followed by a year of supervised release. Brodnax was allowed to self-surrender to authorities.
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