Federal prosecutors asked for nine years in prison for Capitol riot participant Geoffrey Sills, who was among the members of the crowd joining the mob’s assault on police in and around the tunnel in the area of the building called the Lower West Terrace.
Prosecutors have repeatedly focused on people who were in that portion of the mob, who fought police in sometimes brutal ways in an area where well-known current and former officers including Michael Fanone, Aquilino Gonell, and Daniel Hodges were injured. Criminal cases from the Justice Department have largely singled out mob members who participated in violence or entered the building. As for Sills, he was found guilty at a bench trial late last year handled by Trevor McFadden, who was nominated for the federal judiciary by Trump himself. The form the trial took meant it was McFadden deciding on the guilt of Sills and others, and Sills was specifically convicted of criminal offenses including obstruction of an official proceeding, repeatedly assaulting police with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and a robbery charge.
The theft allegation connected to Sills having taken a baton from police. Following these allegations, the trial utilized an agreed set of facts upon which McFadden based his eventual decisions. As highlighted elsewhere by journalist Ryan Reilly, Sills remained evidently in agreement with the cause and tactics expressed on January 6 after it all took place, posting in support of the day’s events on social media — like, of course, others in the crowd also did.
Sills also used the baton that he took from police that day against the cops themselves. “While inside, he repeatedly struck multiple police officers with an extended baton while using a strobe light, apparently to try to disorient the officers,” the Justice Department said in an earlier press release, referring to the time Sills spent in the tunnel that day. “At approximately 3 p.m., Sills turned around and left the tunnel, walked into the crowd and lifted the baton over his head.”
A couple of recent arrests were made of others who were in that area, with the Justice Department specifying that both — a man from Florida and another from New Jersey — were towards the front of that portion of the surging crowd as Hodges was crushed, although the more serious charges for those individuals stopped, for now, at civil disorder, which is a felony offense. The New Jersey resident was also nearby when Fanone was pulled into the crowd and attacked, and although the department didn’t say he directly participated, he was evidently in support, subsequently shouting to “drag them out!” in reference to police. The pace of new arrests has stayed rather consistent for awhile now, even over two years after the violence happened.
NEW: Feds seek 9 years in federal prison for Geoffrey Sills, a 3D artist from Virginia repeatedly assaulted law enforcement officers on Jan. 6.
He made purchases from “Infidel Body Armor" and "Freedom Fighters Tactic” in Nov. 2020, per feds. pic.twitter.com/cASkmJiy9w
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) March 15, 2023