In a landmark case stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, a Florida man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for striking a law enforcement officer. Mason Joel Courson, 27, participated in the attack on officers in the lower west terrace area, along with a mob of rioters. The violent incident took place during a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was convened to determine the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election. The sentencing reflects the severity of the crime, as Courson pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon. Alongside the prison term, he will also serve 36 months of supervised release and pay restitution of $2,000. This case is part of an ongoing investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol, which has resulted in over 1,000 arrests across the country.
Overview of the case
On January 6, 2021, a breach of the U.S. Capitol took place during a joint session of the U.S. Congress to ascertain and count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election. The breach was characterized by a mob of individuals who confronted and assaulted law enforcement officers present at the Capitol building.
Actions of the defendant
Mason Joel Courson, a 27-year-old resident of Tamarac, Florida, was one of the individuals involved in the breach. He was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon. Courson pleaded guilty on November 30, 2022, in the District of Columbia. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Sentencing and Charges
Felony charge for assaulting a law enforcement officer
Courson was charged with a felony for assaulting a law enforcement officer during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. His actions, along with those of other individuals, disrupted the joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Following his guilty plea, Courson was sentenced to 57 months in prison. This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and the impact it had on the law enforcement officer involved. In addition to the prison term, Courson will be subject to 36 months of supervised release to ensure community supervision upon his release.
Supervised release and restitution
As part of the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered Courson to pay $2,000 in restitution. This restitution is intended to compensate the law enforcement officer for any physical injuries sustained during the assault. Courson will also be subject to supervised release for a period of 36 months, during which he will be required to adhere to certain conditions and restrictions set by the court.
Location of the incident
The incident took place at the U.S. Capitol, specifically at the Archway and tunnel areas leading into the Capitol building from the lower west terrace. This area was the scene of confrontation between the mob and law enforcement officers.
Description of the mob
The mob involved in the breach consisted of hundreds of individuals who gathered at the Archway and tunnel areas. They were armed with various objects and engaged in aggressive behavior towards law enforcement officers present at the scene.
Violence by rioters
During the breach, the mob engaged in violent acts towards law enforcement officers. At approximately 4:27 p.m., one of the rioters, Jack Wade Whitton, physically assaulted an officer with a crutch and kicked him. Another rioter, Logan Barnhart, along with Whitton and another individual, dragged the officer down the steps and into the crowd. Courson, positioned at the bottom of the steps, beat the officer with a police baton, while other rioters also attacked him with other objects. The officer sustained physical injuries, including bruising and abrasions, as a result of this violent encounter.
Involvement of Other Defendants
Courson is one of nine defendants named in an indictment related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. The indictment was returned in the District of Columbia and charges the defendants with various offenses stemming from their actions on January 6, 2021.
Previous guilty pleas
In this case, several defendants have previously pleaded guilty. Justin Jersey, Jack Wade Whitton, Logan James Barnhart, and Peter Francis Stager are among the defendants who have admitted their involvement in the breach. These guilty pleas contribute to a clearer understanding of the events that unfolded on that day.
Prosecution and Investigation
Prosecuting office and division
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is responsible for prosecuting the case against Courson and the other defendants involved in the breach of the U.S. Capitol. This office plays a crucial role in ensuring the pursuit of justice in cases of this nature.
Assistance from other offices
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has provided valuable assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the case against Courson. This collaboration between different U.S. Attorney’s Offices is essential for the effective handling of complex criminal cases with jurisdictional implications.
Joint investigation efforts
The investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol has involved multiple law enforcement agencies working together to uncover the truth and hold the perpetrators accountable. The FBI’s Washington Field Office, along with the FBI’s Miami Field Office, has played a significant role in identifying and apprehending individuals involved in the breach. The Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police have also provided crucial assistance in the investigation.
Scope of the Investigation
Number of individuals arrested
Since January 6, 2021, over 1,000 individuals have been arrested across nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. These arrests demonstrate the extensive scope of the investigation and the collective efforts to bring those responsible to justice.
Crimes related to the Capitol breach
The individuals arrested for their involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol have been charged with various crimes, including assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers. These charges reflect the serious nature of the offenses committed and the impact they had on the functioning of our democratic institutions.
The investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol remains ongoing. Law enforcement agencies are continuing their efforts to identify and apprehend individuals involved in the incident. The commitment to uncovering the truth and ensuring accountability for this unprecedented attack on our democracy remains steadfast.
Tips and Reporting
Contact information for tips
Members of the public can provide tips or information related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324). This hotline allows individuals to contribute to the ongoing investigation and assist law enforcement agencies in their pursuit of justice.
FBI’s seeking information photos
The FBI has released photos of individuals involved in the breach and is seeking information from the public to help identify and locate those individuals. These photos serve as valuable resources for members of the public to share any relevant information they may have regarding the perpetrators.
Case Prosecution and Assistance
Involvement of U.S. Attorney’s Office
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has taken a lead role in the prosecution of the case against Courson and the other defendants involved in the breach. The office’s dedication to justice and commitment to ensuring accountability for the actions that took place on January 6, 2021, are evident in its handling of the case.
Assistance from other agencies
Various law enforcement agencies have provided assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The collaboration between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI’s Miami Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police highlights the collective effort to bring the defendants to justice and uphold the rule of law.
Impact of the Incident
Physical injuries sustained by the officer
The assault on the law enforcement officer during the breach of the U.S. Capitol resulted in physical injuries, including bruising and abrasions. These injuries serve as a stark reminder of the violence and aggression exhibited by the mob during this attack.
Repercussions of the Capitol breach
The breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, had far-reaching consequences. It was an attack on our democratic institutions and the peaceful transfer of power. The events of that day underscored the importance of safeguarding the rule of law and maintaining the integrity of our democratic processes.
Summary of the case
Mason Joel Courson, along with a mob of individuals, participated in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. His actions, which involved assaulting a law enforcement officer, resulted in a felony charge. Courson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 57 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release and restitution.
Continued investigation efforts
The investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol remains ongoing, with over 1,000 individuals arrested nationwide for crimes related to the incident. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the dedication of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia reflect a commitment to uncovering the truth, holding the perpetrators accountable, and ensuring the safety of our democratic institutions.