April 16, 2024
Virginia Man Sentenced For Assaulting Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Virginia Man Sentenced For Assaulting Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol BreachDefendant Was Among Those Who Clashed With Officers on Lower West Terrace      ...

Defendant Was Among Those Who Clashed With Officers on Lower West Terrace

            WASHINGTON – A Virginia man was sentenced today in the District of Columbia for assaulting law enforcement officers and other charges for his actions 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 presidential election.

            Geoffrey William Sills, 31, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, was sentenced to 52 months in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon and robbery, all felonies.  Sills was found guilty on August 23, 2022, following a bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden. Sills was indicted with eight other defendants, five of whom have been convicted, and three of whom are awaiting trial. In addition to the prison term, Sills was ordered to pay $2,000 restitution and serve 36 months of supervised release.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Sills illegally entered the Capitol grounds after earlier attending a rally at the Ellipse. He joined in the violence that occurred in the tunnel area of the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. From approximately 2:40 p.m., law enforcement officers maintained a line at the second set of glass doors inside the tunnel leading from the inaugural platform to the entrance to the Capitol. These officers fought a group of rioters — including the defendants — inside the tunnel, protecting the doors, until approximately 3:19 p.m. when they cleared them from the tunnel. Clashes continued throughout the afternoon. 

            Sills joined the crowd at the West Front of the Capitol grounds at approximately 2:13 p.m. He was wearing black goggles and a black gas mask. He joined the line of rioters that pushed police officers back. Sills threw several pole-like objects at the officers as they retreated, while filming the events and posting them to social media. He then followed the retreating officers to the Lower West Terrace and into the tunnel. He wrested away a police baton from an MPD officer. A few minutes later, he exited the tunnel, holding the baton above his head. He re-entered the tunnel several minutes later, moving to the line of officers. He then pointed a flashing strobe light at the police line, disorienting officers. Sills also struck at several officers with the baton, hitting at least two of them.

            Sills was arrested on June 18, 2021.

            This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Eastern District of Texas, and the Eastern District of Virginia.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Washington Field Offices, which identified Sills as #153 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 999 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 320 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 https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/washingtondc/news/virginia-man-sentenced-for-assaulting-officers-during-january-6-capitol-breach

originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24