Ex-POTUS Marine Helicopter Chief Sentenced To Jail Over Jan 6


John D. Andries, a Maryland man who once served as a crew chief on a squadron within the U.S. Marines that handled the helicopter used for personal travel by the president, which is known when the commander-in-chief is onboard as Marine One, was sentenced this week to a year and a day in jail for participating in the Capitol riot.

Andries was one of the first riot participants to enter the Capitol building itself, venturing inside through a broken window less than five minutes after it was first shattered. His sentence followed him pleading guilty to a felony offense of obstruction of an official proceeding, which prosecutors have repeatedly used in Capitol riot cases. According to information previously reported in Law&Crime, the defendant’s plea agreement outlined a potential sentence of 15 to 21 months, although the federal judges handling the sentencing of Capitol rioters are largely unbound by something like a prosecutor’s recommendation and can decide upon sentences mostly on their own. The judge who sentenced Andries was Rudolph Contreras, who was originally nominated to the federal judiciary by Barack Obama.

Like others, Andries also filmed himself while at the Capitol, where he lingered for hours. Over two hours after he initially entered the building, Andries — who at that point was outside — “sat on a ledge and refused to move,” the Justice Department says. Police attempting to clear the scene were forced to physically drag him away, as the same release described. Andries had a similar encounter with local police in Maryland much later. In early 2022, he was arrested following a confrontation at a bar in St. Mary’s County, where he pulled a woman’s hair and security staff were trying to get him out. When police later arrived, he reportedly sat down and left officers to pick him up to get to a waiting police vehicle nearby.

The time Andries spent with the Marines squadron whose responsibilities included presidential travel by helicopter included portions of the presidencies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Service in that group demands what reports have described as multiple security clearances, although it’s unclear that Andries would still hold such a status over 10 years later. The Washington Post reported that the responsibilities Andries held at the time included aircraft maintenance. Overall, dozens of veterans have been criminally charged for participating in the Trump-incited Capitol attack. New arrests of riot participants are also continuing. A Missouri man charged in the attack was picked up January 13 of this year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. That individual, 26-year-old Kyler Joseph Bard, was charged with assaulting police, alongside other criminal offenses.