A Central Florida man, Michael Steven Perkins, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for assaulting law enforcement officers during the January 6th Capitol breach in Washington, D.C. Perkins, along with a group of co-defendants, trespassed the restricted perimeter and made their way to the West Plaza of the Capitol building. At the scene, Perkins thrust a flagpole into the chest of an approaching officer, swung it down, and struck two officers in the back of their heads. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with the assistance of the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
On January 6, 2021, a joint session of the U.S. Congress was disrupted when a mob breached the U.S. Capitol building. The incident occurred during the certification of the electoral votes for the presidential election. One individual involved in the breach and subsequent assault on law enforcement officers was Michael Steven Perkins, a 40-year-old resident of Plant City, Florida.
Michael Steven Perkins was sentenced on August 17, 2023, in the District of Columbia for his involvement in the assault on law enforcement during the Capitol breach. U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols handed down a sentence of 48 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release.
Length of Sentence
Perkins’ prison sentence of 48 months reflects the seriousness of the offenses he was found guilty of committing.
In addition to his prison term, Perkins will be subject to 36 months of supervised release. This means that after serving his prison sentence, he will be closely monitored and required to adhere to certain conditions set by the court.
Offenses Found Guilty
Perkins was found guilty on March 15, 2023, of multiple offenses related to his actions during the Capitol breach. These offenses include:
Assaulting a Federal Officer with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon
Perkins assaulted a federal officer by using a flagpole as a weapon. This offense is a serious felony that carries severe penalties due to the potential harm and danger posed to law enforcement.
By participating in the Capitol breach and engaging in violent behavior, Perkins contributed to a state of civil disorder. This offense is a felony and is punishable by law.
Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds
Perkins unlawfully entered the restricted Capitol building. He continued to remain in the restricted area despite knowing he was not authorized to be there.
Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds
Perkins engaged in disorderly and disruptive conduct while inside the restricted Capitol building. His actions were disruptive to Congress’ joint session and posed a potential threat to public safety.
Acts of Physical Violence on Restricted Capitol Grounds
While on the restricted Capitol grounds, Perkins committed acts of physical violence against law enforcement officers. These acts resulted in harm to the officers and put their lives at risk.
Details of the Incident
Attending the ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally
Perkins traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021. This rally was held in protest of the presidential election results.
Trespassing and Reaching the Capitol
After the conclusion of the rally, Perkins, along with a group of co-defendants, trespassed over the restricted perimeter and made their way to the West Plaza of the Capitol building.
Assault on Law Enforcement
Perkins aided a co-defendant in an attempt to charge and break through a police line by pushing him into the line. He then used a flagpole as a weapon, striking two officers in the back of their heads.
Time Spent on Restricted Capitol Grounds
Perkins remained on the restricted Capitol grounds for at least three hours on January 6, 2021. This extended period of time demonstrates his active participation in the events that occurred on that day.
Arrest and Prosecution
Arrest by FBI Agents
On June 30, 2021, Perkins was arrested in Plant City, Florida, by FBI agents. This arrest was a result of the investigative efforts put forth by the FBI.
Prosecution by U.S. Attorney’s Office
Perkins’ case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The prosecution team presented evidence and testimony during the trial that proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Investigation and Assistance
Investigation by FBI’s Tampa Field Office and Washington Field Office
The investigation into Perkins’ involvement in the Capitol breach was conducted by the FBI’s Tampa Field Office and Washington Field Office. These offices worked diligently to uncover the facts and gather evidence in order to build a strong case against Perkins.
Assistance by Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police
The Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police provided valuable assistance during the investigation. Their cooperation and expertise were crucial in piecing together the events of January 6, 2021.
Assistance by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida also provided assistance in Perkins’ case. This collaboration between different U.S. Attorney’s Offices ensured a comprehensive and thorough prosecution.
Scope of Capitol Breach Arrests
Number of Individuals Arrested
In the 31 months since January 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. This demonstrates the extensive reach of law enforcement efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the breach.
Charges of Assaulting or Impeding Law Enforcement
Out of the total arrests, over 350 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers. These charges reflect the severity of the offenses committed and the determination to bring those responsible to justice.
Tips and Reporting
For individuals with information or tips related to the Capitol breach, there are multiple avenues for reporting:
To report information or provide tips, individuals can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324). This hotline is specifically dedicated to receiving information related to the Capitol breach.
An alternative option for submitting tips and information is by visiting the website tips.fbi.gov. This web portal allows individuals to securely provide details and evidence.
In conclusion, Michael Steven Perkins has been sentenced for his role in assaulting law enforcement officers during the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His imprisonment and supervised release reflect the seriousness of the offenses committed. The investigation and prosecutorial efforts, combined with the assistance of various law enforcement agencies, highlight the collective determination to hold individuals accountable for their actions. The high number of arrests and charges related to the breach demonstrate a commitment to justice and the preservation of democratic institutions. For individuals with information related to the breach, multiple avenues exist to report tips and contribute to the ongoing investigations.