Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 15, 2024
Maine Man Sentenced to 15 Months for Assaulting Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol RiotSource: Google Street View

A Maine man has been given a 15-month prison sentence for his role in the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riot, it was announced yesterday. Matthew Brackley, 40, of Waldoboro, was also handed a two-year supervised release and must cough up $3,000 in fines and restitution, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.

Brackley, who had pleaded guilty to one charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, after flying to Washington, D.C., from Portland, Maine, to participate in the "Stop the Steal" rally, stormed the Capitol and engaged in a physical confrontation with law enforcement. Court documents state that Brackley arrived at the Capitol's West lawn and, shortly thereafter, propelled himself through a police line and entered the building through the Senate Wing Door.

Brackley was confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers in the Senate Chamber. Refusing an order to retreat, Brackley inquired about the location of Nancy Pelosi's office before pushing through the officers with both elbows extended, signaling other rioters to follow his lead. The advance was eventually stymied by a larger force of police clad in riot gear.

Rioters, including Brackley, continued to taunt and clash with the officers, shouting challenges and chanting "USA" as they pressed against the police line. According to the DOJ's report, the tension reached a peak when officers used chemical spray to dispel the aggressive crowd, leading Brackley and others to retreat, and he left the Capitol at approximately 3:05 p.m. The FBI subsequently arrested Brackley on July 21, 2023, in his home state of Maine.

The prosecution of the case was a joint effort between the U.S. Attorney's Office for D.C. and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section, with assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, over 1,424 individuals have been charged for their crimes linked to the breach, with more than 500 of those individuals facing charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.