In a significant development related to the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, an Oregon man named Richard L. Harris has been found guilty of 11 felony and misdemeanor charges. The charges against him include obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, among others. Harris was one of the initial individuals to enter the Capitol building that day, and evidence presented during his trial showed that he actively participated in the disruption of a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He was seen on video surveillance menacing Capitol Police officers and physically assaulting a Metropolitan Police Department officer. Harris is scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2023, and faces potential financial penalties. This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The investigation into the Capitol breach remains ongoing, with over 1,000 individuals charged across nearly all 50 states.
Oregon Man Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach
Introduction to the Case
In a recent development, an Oregon man has been found guilty of felony and misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol breach that occurred on January 6, 2021. The breach disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress, which was convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes for the presidential election. This incident had serious implications for the functioning of the government and raised concerns over the security of the Capitol.
Disruption of U.S. Congress
The breach of the Capitol on January 6 resulted in the disruption of a crucial session of the U.S. Congress. The joint session was in progress to fulfill the constitutional duty of certifying the electoral votes of the presidential election. The breach led to the evacuation of members of Congress, delay in the certification process, and a direct threat to the democratic process of the country. This incident drew widespread attention and sparked a nationwide conversation about the security measures in place at the Capitol.
Individual’s Identity and Residence
The Oregon man involved in the Capitol breach has been identified as Richard L. Harris, a 42-year-old resident of Happy Valley, Oregon. Harris was one of the individuals who entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. The investigation revealed his involvement in various activities that disrupted the proceedings and posed a threat to law enforcement officers and government officials present at the Capitol.
Charges and Verdict
Number of Charges
Richard L. Harris faced a total of 11 charges related to his actions during the Capitol breach. These charges include obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, civil disorder, assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct, engaging in physical violence, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
Felony and Misdemeanor Charges
The charges against Harris include both felony and misdemeanor offenses. Felony charges carry more severe penalties compared to misdemeanor charges. The combination of charges reflects the seriousness and extent of Harris’s involvement in the Capitol breach.
The trial for Richard L. Harris was conducted as a bench trial, meaning that the judge made the final decision instead of a jury. The judge in this case was U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols. A bench trial allows for a more streamlined process and a quicker resolution of the case.
After careful consideration of the evidence presented during the trial, Judge Carl J. Nichols found Richard L. Harris guilty of all 11 charges. The guilty verdict indicates that the judge determined beyond a reasonable doubt that Harris was responsible for the actions he was accused of during the Capitol breach.
U.S. District Judge’s Decision
As a result of the guilty verdict, Richard L. Harris is now awaiting sentencing. The sentencing will take place on September 27, 2023. The U.S. District Judge will consider various factors, including the severity of the charges and the defendant’s criminal history, to determine the appropriate sentence for Harris.
Evidence Presented at Trial
Initial Entry into Capitol
During the trial, evidence was presented that established Richard L. Harris as one of the initial individuals who entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. This evidence confirmed his presence and active participation in the events that unfolded inside the Capitol.
Selfie Video Boasting
Before entering the Capitol, Harris recorded a selfie video in which he boasted about the confrontation with the police and the attempt to breach the Capitol building. This video served as key evidence in establishing Harris’s intent and mindset leading up to the breach.
Video Surveillance and Open-Source Video
Video surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol Police and open-source video obtained from various sources within the Capitol were crucial in identifying Harris and documenting his actions. These videos provided a clear picture of Harris’s conduct and his interactions with law enforcement officers and other individuals present at the scene.
Assault on Capitol Police Officer
Evidence presented at the trial showed that Richard L. Harris engaged in physical violence by assaulting a Metropolitan Police Department officer. The assault was captured on video surveillance and body-worn camera footage, leaving no doubt about Harris’s involvement in this act of aggression.
While inside the Capitol, Harris made threatening remarks directed at political figures. The evidence presented included statements made by Harris in which he threatened Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence. These remarks further underscored the seriousness of Harris’s actions during the breach.
Identification through Media Footage and Tips
Richard L. Harris was identified through a combination of media footage and tips received by law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. The widely distributed videos and photos from the Capitol breach played a crucial role in identifying Harris and connecting him to specific events and actions.
Identification and Arrest
Identification via Tips and Cell Phone Location Evidence
The investigation into the Capitol breach led to the identification of Richard L. Harris through tips received by law enforcement agencies. In addition to tips, cell phone location evidence also played a vital role in placing Harris in or near the Capitol on the day of the breach. The combination of these two pieces of evidence helped establish Harris’s involvement and aided in his subsequent arrest.
Arrest in Southern District of Florida
Richard L. Harris was arrested on March 18, 2021, in the Southern District of Florida. The arrest was a result of collaboration and coordination between law enforcement agencies across different districts and jurisdictions. Harris was taken into custody without incident and has been in custody since his arrest.
Date of Arrest
The arrest of Richard L. Harris on March 18, 2021, marked a significant milestone in the investigation into the Capitol breach. It represented a step forward in holding accountable those responsible for the events of January 6, 2021, and ensuring justice is served.
Scheduled Sentencing Date
Richard L. Harris is scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2023. This date marks an important milestone in the legal process, as it will determine the consequences and penalties that Harris will face for his actions during the Capitol breach.
Determining Appropriate Sentence
The sentencing process involves considering various factors to determine the appropriate sentence for Richard L. Harris. These factors may include the severity of the charges, the defendant’s criminal history, the impact of the defendant’s actions on the victims and society, and any mitigating circumstances that may exist.
Consideration of Factors and Sentencing Guidelines
The U.S. District Judge presiding over the case will consider the relevant factors and guidelines to arrive at a fair and just sentence for Richard L. Harris. Sentencing guidelines provide a framework based on the nature of the offenses and the defendant’s criminal history, helping the judge make an informed decision.
Potential Financial Penalties
All charges against Richard L. Harris carry potential financial penalties. The judge will consider these penalties along with other sentencing factors while determining the appropriate sentence. The financial penalties may serve as a deterrent and reflect the seriousness of the offenses committed by Harris.
Prosecution and Investigation
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
The case against Richard L. Harris is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has the responsibility of representing the interests of the United States in criminal cases and seeking justice on behalf of the public.
Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section
The Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section is also involved in the prosecution of Richard L. Harris. This division specializes in handling cases related to national security threats and acts of terrorism, ensuring a comprehensive and focused approach to the prosecution.
Assistance from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has provided valuable assistance in the investigation and prosecution of Richard L. Harris. Cooperation and collaboration between different U.S. Attorney’s Offices play a crucial role in ensuring a thorough and effective legal process.
Investigation by FBI’s Portland and Washington Field Offices
The investigation into Richard L. Harris’s involvement in the Capitol breach was conducted jointly by the FBI’s Portland and Washington Field Offices. These two field offices worked in coordination to gather evidence, identify suspects, and build a strong case against Harris.
Assistance from FBI Miami Field Office, U.S. Capitol Police, and Metropolitan Police Department
The FBI Miami Field Office, U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department provided vital assistance during the investigation into the Capitol breach. Cooperation between law enforcement agencies was crucial in ensuring a comprehensive investigation and addressing the security concerns associated with the breach.
Number of Individuals Charged
Charges Against 1,000 Individuals
To date, over 1,000 individuals have been charged in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This significant number reflects the extensive investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies across the country to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the events of that day.
Assault or Impeding Law Enforcement Charges Against Nearly 350 Individuals
Out of the over 1,000 individuals charged, nearly 350 individuals have been specifically charged with assault or impeding law enforcement. These charges highlight the severity of the actions taken by these individuals, which directly threatened the safety and well-being of law enforcement officers on duty.
The investigation into the Capitol breach remains ongoing. Law enforcement agencies continue to gather evidence, identify additional suspects, and build cases against those responsible for the events of January 6, 2021. The commitment to holding accountable all individuals involved in the breach underscores the importance of preserving the integrity of our democratic institutions.
Tips and Reporting
Anyone with relevant information regarding the Capitol breach or individuals involved is encouraged to come forward and provide tips. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or by visiting tips.fbi.gov. Public cooperation is crucial in ensuring that justice is served and that those responsible for the breach are held accountable.
The guilty verdict against Richard L. Harris for felony and misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol breach is an important step towards justice and accountability. The comprehensive investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies and the prosecution efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office have resulted in a strong case against Harris. As the legal process continues, it is essential to remember the importance of upholding the rule of law and preserving the integrity of our democratic institutions. The ongoing investigation and the commitment to justice serve as a reminder that acts undermining the democratic process will not go unpunished.