A federal judge has imposed a $20,000 fine on Ronald Sandlin, a participant in last year’s Trump-incited Capitol riot who prepared beforehand for what turned out to be his involvement in the Capitol attack, where he repeatedly fought with police, sought to help other rioters with getting into and through the building, and smoked marijuana inside the Capitol Rotunda after exiting the Senate chamber.
Prosecutors had asked for the fine from federal Judge Dabney Friedrich, Sandlin previously raised some $21,000 on a conservative crowdfunding site, tying his fundraising push to claimed legal fees — except he doesn’t have any, because he has been represented by a court-appointed lawyer since the beginning of the case, He was also accused of inciting a riot while detained in D.C. in an incident in which he and two other detained rioters threatened an officer with chairs as that officer sought to restrain somebody else. If he’s to be believed, Sandlin already spent the better part of what he raised, using thousands on personal expenses like movies and giving some to other detainees.
Shortly before receiving the fine, Sandlin was recently sentenced to over five years in prison after pleading guilty to two felony offenses including conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting or impeding officers. Sandlin was sentenced to the exact length of time in custody that prosecutors requested from Friedrich. Before the riot — and before he and two co-conspirators who were also charged went to D.C., Sandlin posted a fundraising plea online, so the kind of behavior in which he has recently engaged has a precedent. He has expressed remorse — although he also made comments published in the far-right outlet the Gateway Pundit alleging he was the victim of what amounts to political persecution. He alleged that his “vindictive and selective prosecution is on purpose to intimidate any perceived political threat to the Biden regime.”
In other news related to the riot, an already charged participant was recently arrested again after he was caught plotting to kill law enforcement personnel ostensibly involved in building the case against him. After a co-conspirator provided a third man whose involvement was sought with a hit list, that individual notified local police and was interviewed by the FBI the same day. The cooperating witness made covert recordings of incriminating conversations involving the other two — Edward Kelley and Austin Carter — the following day, and Kelley and Carter are now charged.
UPDATE: Judge Friedrich has imposed the $20,000 fine that DOJ recommended on Ronald Sandlin. pic.twitter.com/ZStGN59qR0
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 16, 2022