Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON – A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Richard Michetti, 29, of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to a charge of aiding and abetting obstruction of an official proceeding. According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Michetti attended a rally near the Ellipse and then walked to the Capitol Building. At approximately 2:06 p.m., he texted an individual that “it’s going down here we stormed the building they held us back with spray and teargas and paintballs.” Three minutes later, he sent another text to the same person, saying “Gotta stop the vote it’s fraud this is our country.”

            Michetti illegally entered the Upper West Terrace Door of the Capitol Building with other rioters at approximately 2:35 p.m., minutes after the door was initially breached. Several minutes later, he took several videos inside the Rotunda. By 2:44 p.m., he was in a crowd trying to get past a line of Metropolitan Police Department officers attempting to secure the hallway by the Old Senate Chamber. He remained near the front of the crowd, yelling at the officers and at one point pinching the sleeve of an officer trying to keep the mob from penetrating further into the building. He and others in the crowd then dispersed into the Rotunda, where he yelled at officers, “you are starting a civil war.” Michetti continued yelling at officers before finally leaving the building at approximately 3:15 or 3:20 p.m. He remained on the Capitol grounds for approximately two more hours.

            Michetti was arrested on Feb. 23, 2021, in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 1, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 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 Pennsylvania.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Philadelphia Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 16 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 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.