WASHINGTON – An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, 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.
Jerry Ryals, 27, of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to a charge of civil disorder. According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Ryals joined a crowd that was illegally on the Capitol grounds. At the bottom of the Capitol steps, he filmed a video from his phone, in which he stated, “They are tear gassing, throwing flash bangs, pepper spray, but we will not concede.” As he made his way up the Capitol steps, he filmed another video, stating, “We definitely have enough people to overthrow this b—-. They don’t stand a f—ing chance.”
Ryals entered the Capitol building through a side door and stayed inside for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, remaining primarily in unspecified office space. He was directed back outside by Capitol Police, but later re-entered, remaining inside for approximately 30 additional minutes. This time, he walked through or remained in several areas on multiple floors of the building, including the Rotunda and the Crypt. He took video and photos while inside the building, and even after leaving, remained illegally on the Capitol grounds.
Ryals was arrested on March 5, 2021, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He is to be sentenced on Oct. 18, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The 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 Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office and its Tulsa Resident Agency, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 15 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 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.