Florida man who breached U.S. Senate chambers on Jan. 6th gets 8 months in prison

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  WASHINGTON – A Florida man was sentenced today to eight months in prison, to be followed by 24 months of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100, for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Paul Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, pleaded guilty on June 2 to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. He was sentenced by the Honorable Randolph D. Moss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

            According to court documents, Hodgkins entered the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 6. Around 3 p.m., he entered the Senate chamber, walked among the desks, and then removed eye goggles. He took a “selfie-style” photograph with his cell phone and walked down the Senate well, where, a few feet away, several individuals were shouting, praying and cheering using a bullhorn. Hodgkins walked toward the individuals and remained standing with them while they continued commanding the attention of others. At approximately 3:15 p.m., Hodgkins exited the Senate chamber and the U.S. Capitol Building.

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            The case was 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 Office for the Middle District of Florida.

            The FBI’s Washington Field Office investigated this case, with significant assistance provided by the FBI Tampa Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the six months since Jan. 6, more than 535 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 165 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.