Florida man sentenced to 10 years for J6, carrying pepper spray, avoiding arrest


On Thursday, the Department of Justice sentenced a Florida man to 10 years in prison on charges relating to the January 6 protest at the US Capitol in 2021.

Christopher Worrell, 52, of Naples, Florida, was sentenced to 120 months in prison on multiple felony counts that included assaulting a group of police officers with a deadly and dangerous weapon. Worrell deployed pepper spray on a line of police officers at the Capitol on the west plaza, according to the Department of Justice.

In addition to the prison term, US District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered 36 months of supervised release, restitution of $2,000, and a $610 special assessment. 

Prosecutors said that Worrell, who is affiliated the the Proud Boys, became a fugitive after he had been convicted on charges on May 12, 2023. Worrell cut off his ankle monitor in a Walmart parking lot on August 14, 2023, four days before his scheduled sentencing date.

Worrell was apprehended at his residence in Naples, Florida, six weeks after an FBI manhunt was initiated in response to his disappearance. The FBI discovered night-vision goggles, a wallet containing approximately $4,000 in cash, and a bag containing new camping equipment. Authorities said that Worrell was found unresponsive and later confessed that he had fabricated an opioid overdose as a “delay tactic.”

Court documents state that Worrell marched to the US Capitol with a group of Proud Boys before former President Donald Trump concluded his speech.

As a line of police officers attempted to defend the Capitol from the group on the West Plaza, Worrell stepped forward and sprayed pepper gel at them. Worrell boasted later that he had “completely deployed a can” and was “absolutely handing it over to them,” according to documents.

After the protesters made their way through the police line, Worrell reportedly filmed himself on camera and said: “Yeah! Taking the Capitol!”

The Department of Justice states that on May 12, 2023, Worrell was found guilty on six felony counts and a misdemeanor that included assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, and obstructing, impeding, or interfering with officers during the commission of a civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, engaging in physical violence with a deadly or dangerous weapon all felonies, and an act of physical violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings, a misdemeanor. 

Following an investigation by the FBI into the Proud Boys, numerous members were either charged with a crime or put on trial in Washington. Charges of seditious conspiracy sent four of them to trial this spring, including Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the Proud Boys.

Many have lambasted the Biden administration for the hefty sentences handed down to Jan. 6 defendants, claiming political persecution at the hands of a weaponized Justice Department.

In September 2023, Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison over charges of seditious conspiracy in connection to the riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Tarrio was not in DC on Jan. 6.

In addition, Tarrio’s co-defendants, Zachary Rehl, Joe Biggs, and Ethan Nordean, all of whom were Proud Boys affiliates, each received prison sentences between 15-18 years in prison.

Over 1,200 people have been charged in virtually all 50 states for offenses linked to the breach of the US Capitol in the 35 months since January 6, 2021. Journalists and individuals who were not in DC during the protest were among those hunted down by the FBI and charged.

In November, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R) released highly sought-after footage captured by surveillance tapes on Jan. 6. After the release, many claimed that the extreme targeting of Americans who participated in the Jan 6. protest was clear political persecution at the hands of the Biden administration to target conservative voters.

Former President Donald Trump, who is currently facing criminal charges by the Biden DOJ in relation to the events that occurred at the Capitol on that day, congratulated House Speaker Johnson for having the “courage” to release the tapes to the American people.

“Congratulations to Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson for having the Courage and Fortitude to release all of the J6 Tapes, which will explicitly reveal what really happened on January 6th!” Donald Trump said on Truth Social.

To date, Biden’s Department of Justice has sentenced Jan. 6 defendants to a combined 847 years in prison.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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