Rodney Milstreed, 56, of Finksburg, Maryland, “prepared for battle” on Jan. 6 by injecting steroids and arming himself with a four-foot-tall wooden pole disguised as a flagpole, the indictment alleges .
A prosecutor showed U.S. District Judge James Boasberg videos of Milstreed’s attacks outside the Capitol.
In the end, Milstreed told the judge that it was painful to watch his violent acts and hear his combative language that day.
“I know that what I did that day was very wrong”, he admitted, only to hear the judge say that he believed in his repentance, in particular for having attacked police officers and a photo reporter.
Prosecutors sought a prison sentence of six years and six months for Milstreed, a machinist who worked at oil and gas facilities.
In a letter addressed to the judge before sentencing, Milstreed said he understands the wrongfulness of his actions on January 6 and has learned from his mistakes.
Milstreed was arrested in May 2022 in Colorado, where he worked, and at the time confessed his guilt to charges of assault and possession of an unregistered firearm.
Milstreed had been angered by the result of the 2020 presidential elections, which gave victory to Democrat Joe Biden, against Republican Donald Trump, and used social media to make threats against the authorities.
In late December 2020, he emailed a department of the far-right group Proud Boys in Maryland to ask about how he could join the movement.
On the morning of January 6, 2021, Milstreed took a train to Washington and then attended then-President Donald Trump’s rally near the White House, following the crowd that headed to the Capitol to try to stop the college vote count. election and thus reverse Trump’s defeat.
Milstreed joined other protesters in attacking an Associated Press photographer, pushing and threatening him, before violently attacking him.
Other protesters were accused of attacking the same photographer, and one of them — Alan Byerly, 55, of Pennsylvania — was sentenced last October to two years and 10 months in prison.
More than 1,100 people were charged with federal crimes related to the invasion of the Capitol, with more than 650 being convicted, with around two-thirds of them receiving prison sentences ranging from three days to 22 years.
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