A Central Florida man, Joshua Christopher Doolin, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach. Doolin was found guilty of civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and theft of government property. He traveled to Washington, D.C., with a group and filmed their approach to the Capitol, where they joined the mob in attacking police officers. Doolin also stole a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield and celebrated their actions. This case is part of the ongoing investigations and prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, with over 1,106 individuals arrested across nearly all 50 states.
Overview of Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
On January 6, 2021, a group of individuals stormed the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. This breach occurred during a joint session of the U.S. Congress, where electoral votes related to the presidential election were being counted. The actions of these individuals disrupted the proceedings and posed a threat to the safety and security of lawmakers and law enforcement officials.
Introduction of Joshua Christopher Doolin
One of the individuals involved in the Capitol breach was Joshua Christopher Doolin, a 25-year-old resident of Lakeland, Florida. Doolin was found guilty on March 15, 2023, on four charges related to his actions during the incident. These charges include civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and theft of government property.
Charges and Sentencing
List of Charges Against Doolin
Doolin faced several charges for his involvement in the Capitol breach. He was charged with civil disorder, a felony, which involves engaging in violent or tumultuous conduct that poses a risk to public safety. Additionally, he was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and theft of government property.
Details of the Sentencing
On August 16, 2023, Doolin was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols. He received a prison term of 18 months, followed by 36 months of supervised release. This sentencing reflects the seriousness of his actions and serves as a deterrent for future individuals contemplating similar acts.
Prison Term and Supervised Release
The 18-month prison term handed down to Doolin takes into account the severity of his offenses and the impact they had on the functioning of the U.S. Congress. Following his release from prison, Doolin will be subject to 36 months of supervised release, during which he will be required to adhere to certain conditions set by the court. This supervised release aims to ensure his compliance with the law and promote his reintegration into society.
Traveling to Washington, D.C.
Doolin traveled from Lakeland, Florida, to Washington, D.C., with a group of family members and friends to attend a rally at the ellipse. This rally was held in support of overturning the results of the presidential election.
Contemplation of Bringing a Firearm
Prior to his trip, Doolin contemplated bringing a semi-automatic rifle with him to Washington, D.C. However, he ultimately decided against it, but his intention to bring a firearm indicates the potential for violence and underscores the seriousness of his mindset.
Storming the Capitol
Despite not being armed with a firearm, Doolin actively participated in storming the Capitol. He and members of his group crossed a restricted perimeter established by law enforcement and gained access to the Capitol building and its grounds.
Filming and Narration of the Incident
Throughout the breach, Doolin filmed and narrated the incident on his cellphone. In his footage, he can be heard describing the use of rubber bullets and chemical spray by law enforcement officers. This recording highlights Doolin’s active involvement in the events as they unfolded.
Attacking the Police Line
Doolin witnessed and filmed as his friends and other rioters attacked the police line, engaging in physical altercations with law enforcement officers. He himself was sprayed with chemical spray during these confrontations.
Stealing a Riot Shield
During the chaos, Doolin stole a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield, which he kept with him for the remainder of the day. He filmed himself holding the stolen shield, proudly proclaiming his possession of it.
Attempts to Enter the Capitol
Doolin attempted to enter the Capitol building itself, pushing against the police line and joining the crowd in their efforts to breach the entrance. He used the stolen riot shield as a tool to advance toward the Capitol, lending his force and weight to the mob’s actions.
Arrest and Prosecution
FBI agents arrested Doolin in Lakeland, Florida, on June 30, 2021. This arrest was a result of ongoing investigations into the Capitol breach and the identification of individuals involved in the incident.
Assistance Provided by Other Agencies
The arrest and subsequent prosecution of Doolin involved collaboration between various law enforcement agencies. Valuable assistance was provided by the Middle District of Florida and the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. These joint efforts ensured a thorough investigation and effective prosecutions.
Investigations and Prosecution Efforts
The case against Doolin was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The office conducted extensive investigations, gathering evidence and compiling a strong case against Doolin. The successful prosecution of Doolin demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement to hold accountable those responsible for the Capitol breach.
Nationwide Arrests and Charges
Number of Individuals Arrested
In the 31 months since the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the incident. These arrests reflect the wide reach and scope of the investigations carried out by law enforcement agencies across the country.
Crimes Related to Capitol Breach
The individuals arrested in connection with the Capitol breach face a range of charges, including but not limited to trespassing, destruction of property, assault on law enforcement officers, and conspiracy. Each of these charges carries serious consequences and reflects the serious nature of the offenses committed.
Assault Charges Against Law Enforcement
Out of the individuals arrested, over 350 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers during the Capitol breach. These charges underscore the violence and aggression exhibited by some participants and serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining law and order during civil unrest.
In conclusion, the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, was a significant and alarming event in American history. The sentencing of Joshua Christopher Doolin and the arrests of numerous individuals involved in the incident highlight the commitment of law enforcement to uphold the rule of law and protect the institutions of democracy. The consequences faced by Doolin and others serve as a deterrent to those who may consider engaging in similar acts in the future.