A Jan. 6 defendant who assaulted police and an Associated Press photographer during the 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol building was sentenced Friday to five years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.
Rodney Milstreed, 56, of Finksburg, Maryland, pleaded guilty in April to assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers with a deadly weapon and possession of an illegal firearm, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor assault.
He also was sentenced to two years of supervised release following his prison term and was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors said Milstreed was "front and center" in the clashes with police in front of the Capitol, including throwing a smoke grenade at officers and yanking on a bike rack fence being used as a makeshift barrier.
He assaulted a group of Capitol Police officers with a 4-foot long wooden pick handle with a flag attached and gave one of them a concussion, according to the Justice Department. Milstreed was also one of the first people to attack an AP photographer, dragging him down a set of steps and shoving him as others surrounded and continued to attack him.
The Hill reported that Milstreed updated his friends on the Capitol protest on Facebook in real time.
"Man I've never seen anything like this," he reportedly wrote, including pictures of blood on the ground outside the Capitol. "I feel so alive."
Around 8 p.m. that night, he sent a message to one individual, celebrating his participation in the attack.
"We f***** them federal cops up," he wrote. "They all ran when we got physical. LMFAO."
He then added, "Time for war."
During his sentencing, Milstreed expressed remorse for his actions.
"I know what I did that day was very wrong," he said, according to the AP.
Police found an unregistered AR-15 during a search of Milstreed's home after his arrest, which resulted in the weapons charge.
According to investigators, Milstreed was angered by the results of the 2020 election and at one point attempted to contact and join the Proud Boys.
The DOJ said more than 1,100 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for Jan. 6-related crimes, including more than 396 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, which is a felony.
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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