WASHINGTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Howard Adams, 62, of Edgewater, Florida, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder. U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 31, 2023. Adams faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to court documents, at approximately 1:53 p.m on Jan. 6, 2021, Adams unlawfully approached the U.S. Capitol across the east plaza after rioters in the defendant’s presence pushed through a line of USCP officers. At 2:26 p.m., after the defendant had proceeded across the east plaza to the East Rotunda doorway, a group of people unlawfully pushed away police officers and entered the building. The defendant followed and then proceeded to the Rotunda, into and through Statuary Hall.
At approximately 2:36 p.m., moments after others in the group pushed aside police officers, the defendant proceeded to the House chamber doorway. The defendant and others unlawfully in the Capitol building then amassed outside the doorway for several minutes, during which time the group chanted, “Break it down!” and “Stop the steal!” The group was unable to open the door. Several minutes later, the defendant returned to the Rotunda where he encountered multiple law enforcement members who were there to clear the room of unlawful persons. The defendant intentionally walked toward the line of officers, instead of proceeding toward the exit opposite from the line of officers. As he did so, he unfurled and raised a flag while raising both hands. At approximately 3:08 p.m., the defendant made physical contact with one of the officers as the officer attempted to push the defendant in the opposite direction, toward the exit, and deployed a chemical irritant against the defendant. As this was occurring, several other persons were behind the defendant and were surging forward toward the police line. The defendant eventually exited the building through the East Rotunda doorway at approximately 3:15 p.m.
Adams was arrested on March 10, 2021, in Edgewater, Florida. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
The case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office – Daytona Beach Resident Agency, the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24