WASHINGTON – An Ohio 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 presidential election.
John Douglas Wright, 55, of Canton, Ohio, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding. According to court documents, Wright organized two charter buses which he owned to travel to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. Approximately 100 people traveled on the buses, which were then parked at Union Station in Washington. Wright and the group then walked to the U.S. Capitol, where he illegally entered the grounds.
Wright and others pushed against a metal barricade against federal law enforcement officers in an attempt to break through the security perimeter and advance towards the Capitol. He then took a break to catch his breath. About 15 minutes later, the crowd had pushed through the eastern barriers, and Wright entered the Capitol Building. While inside, he walked through the Rotunda, took video, posted video to Facebook Live, and smoked a cigarette. He then left the building.
In addition to his physical conduct, Wright made numerous statements on social media, including, “SET ON NICE BENCH IN ROTUNDA AND HAD A SMOKE,” “YESTERDAY WAS A PRACTICE RUN,” and “I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE HOME VISITS.”
Wright was arrested May 3, 2021, in Canton. He is to be sentenced on Nov. 28, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office and its Canton Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Canton Police Department, the Stark County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson Township, Ohio, Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 18 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 850 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 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.