In a significant development, a Mississippi man has been sentenced to 78 months in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. James McGrew, 40, pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and was also ordered to serve 36 months of supervised release, pay a $5,000 fine, and provide $2,000 in restitution. Court documents revealed that McGrew actively engaged in multiple confrontations with law enforcement officers during the breach, including pushing and striking officers, as well as launching a wooden handrail into a tunnel. This sentence reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s actions and serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts to hold individuals accountable for their roles in the tragic events of that day.
Summary of the incident
On January 6, 2021, a Mississippi man named James McGrew was involved in the breach of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress. McGrew and others assaulted law enforcement officers who were attempting to prevent rioters from advancing further on the restricted grounds. McGrew’s actions included shooting a video, chanting slogans, and engaging in confrontations with officers.
Defendant’s residence and guilty plea
James McGrew, who resided in Biloxi, Mississippi, and briefly in Carlsbad, California, pleaded guilty on May 13, 2022, in the District of Columbia. He pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers during the Capitol breach. McGrew admitted his involvement in the incident and accepted responsibility for his actions.
Length of prison sentence
James McGrew was sentenced to 78 months in prison for his role in assaulting law enforcement officers during the Capitol breach. The lengthy prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his actions and their impact on the safety and security of the Capitol and those who protect it.
Terms of supervised release
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ordered James McGrew to serve 36 months of supervised release. During this period, he will be subject to certain conditions and supervision to ensure his compliance with the law and promote his reintegration into society.
Fine and restitution
James McGrew was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution. These financial penalties serve as an additional consequence for his actions and contribute to the restoration of any damages caused during the Capitol breach.
Series of Confrontations
Overwhelming law enforcement officers
As part of a crowd, James McGrew participated in overwhelming law enforcement officers who were trying to prevent rioters from advancing further on the restricted grounds. This initial confrontation set the stage for the escalation of the Capitol breach.
Proceeding to the Capitol Building
After overwhelming the law enforcement officers, McGrew proceeded to the Upper West Terrace doors of the Capitol Building. He was captured on video shouting slogans and expressing excitement about their advancement.
Shooting video and chanting slogans
While at the Upper West Terrace doors, James McGrew shot a video of the scene and repeatedly chanted slogans, such as “let’s go” and “we took this thing.” This behavior demonstrates his active participation and support for the breach and the disruption of the joint session of Congress.
Assault in the Rotunda
Entering the Capitol and moving to the Rotunda
James McGrew entered the Capitol at 2:45 p.m. and made his way to the Rotunda. The Rotunda was an area where law enforcement officers were attempting to clear rioters out of the building and restore order.
Pushing and striking officers
Upon reaching the Rotunda, McGrew engaged in physical altercations with law enforcement officers. He pushed one officer and struck another who was standing before him. These aggressive actions towards officers further escalated the situation.
Altercation and attempts to grab a baton
During the altercation in the Rotunda, James McGrew attempted to grab an officer’s baton. This aggressive act demonstrates his intent to cause harm to the officers present and underscores the dangerous nature of his behavior.
Attack in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel
Involvement in attacking officers securing the tunnel entrance
Approximately 45 minutes after leaving the Rotunda, James McGrew joined in an attack against officers attempting to secure the Lower West Terrace tunnel entrance to the Capitol Building. This attack further endangered the officers and disrupted law enforcement efforts to maintain the safety of the building.
Use of a wooden handrail as a weapon
During the attack in the tunnel, a rioter handed James McGrew a wooden handrail with metal brackets attached. McGrew launched the handrail into the tunnel, throwing the end with the metal brackets towards the law enforcement officers. This action demonstrated his willingness to use makeshift weapons and escalate the level of violence.
Pushing and being pushed out by officers
While in the tunnel, McGrew engaged in more pushing and physical confrontations with officers. However, officers eventually pushed him and other attackers out of the tunnel, bringing an end to their assault on the officers securing the entrance.
Arrest and Prosecution
Date and location of arrest
James McGrew was arrested on May 28, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona. His arrest marked a significant step in holding him accountable for his actions during the Capitol breach.
Prosecuting agencies involved
The case against James McGrew 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. These agencies worked diligently to build a strong case against McGrew and ensure justice was served.
Investigative agencies involved
The FBI’s San Diego and Phoenix Field Offices led the investigation into James McGrew’s involvement in the Capitol breach. They were assisted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified McGrew in its seeking information photos. Additionally, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance throughout the investigation.
Investigation and Ongoing Cases
Number of individuals arrested for Capitol breach crimes
In the 24 months since January 6, 2021, over 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. This high number of arrests underscores the extensive investigative efforts and commitment to holding those responsible accountable.
Charges related to assaulting or impeding law enforcement
To date, over 284 individuals have been charged specifically with assaulting or impeding law enforcement during the Capitol breach. These charges reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed and the need to protect those who protect and serve.
The investigation into the Capitol breach remains ongoing. Law enforcement agencies continue to pursue leads, gather evidence, and identify individuals involved in the attack. This ongoing investigation ensures that all guilty parties are brought to justice and reinforces the commitment to safeguarding the integrity of our democratic institutions.
Tips and Contact Information
Contact information for providing tips
For individuals with tips or information related to the Capitol breach, there are multiple ways to provide that information. The public can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov to submit tips.
Call center number and website
The primary contact number for providing tips related to the Capitol breach is 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324). Additional information and the option to submit tips online can be found at tips.fbi.gov.
The sentencing of James McGrew for assaulting law enforcement officers during the Capitol breach sends a strong message that such actions will not be tolerated. McGrew’s involvement in a series of confrontations, his assault on officers, and his participation in attacks on secured areas of the Capitol all contributed to the severity of his sentence. As the investigation into the Capitol breach continues, the prosecution and law enforcement agencies remain dedicated to pursuing justice and holding all responsible parties accountable for their actions.
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Links to external government websites
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