WASHINGTON – Two Pennsylvania man were sentenced today to 41 months each in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers and conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Their 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.
Marshall Neefe, 26, of Newville, Pennsylvania, and Charles Bradford Smith, 25, of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, were sentenced in the District of Columbia.
According to court documents, Neefe and Smith communicated with each other and others on Facebook in the weeks preceding Jan. 6, 2021. For example, on Nov. 4, 2020, a day after Election Day, Neefe wrote to Smith, “Im getting ready to storm D.C.” The two subsequently shared their intentions and plans to travel to Washington on Jan. 6. In one message to Neefe, Smith wrote, “I can’t wait for DC!,” adding, “If it’s big enough we should all just storm the buildings … Seriously … I was talking to my Dad about how easy that would be with enough people.”
In another such communication, Neefe wrote, “We goin? …Cause hot damn son I really wanna crack some commie skulls.” The two discussed bringing “batons” with them, and Neefe sent a photograph of a wooden club he had made to Smith and others, with a caption that called it “The Commie Knocker.”
On Jan. 6, both illegally entered the Capitol grounds. Neefe carried the wooden club. They both participated in pushing a large metal sign frame – at least eight feet tall and 10 feet wide — into a defensive line of officers attempting to prevent the mob from further advancing on the west front plaza of the Capitol. Smith also encouraged people in the mob to keep forcing a door to the Capitol closed to keep law enforcement officers inside the building so that they could not respond to the riot unfolding outside.
Neefe later entered the Capitol building, including the Rotunda, disregarding commands to leave. He remained inside the building for more than 40 minutes, leaving at approximately 3:17 p.m.
Both men were arrested on Sept. 13, 2021.Neefe pleaded guilty on May 3, 2022, to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. Smith pleaded guilty on June 23, 2022, to the same two charges.
Following their prison terms, Neefe and Smith will be placed on three years of supervised release. They each also must pay $2,000 in restitution.
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 Pennsylvania.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office and its Capital Area Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Police Department.
In the 20 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 870 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 265 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.