Arkansas Man Sentenced on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach

Arkansas Man Sentenced on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach

Defendant Illegally Entered the Office of the Speaker of the House

            WASHINGTON – An Arkansas man was sentenced today in the District of Columbia on felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Richard Barnett, 62, of Gravette, Arkansas, was sentenced to 54 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and a $2,000 fine, following a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 3, 2023. Barnett was found guilty, on January 23, 2023, of all charges including: obstruction of an official proceeding, interfering with a police officer during a civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous or deadly weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon, all of which are felonies.  He was also found guilty of entering and remaining in certain rooms in a capitol building, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, theft of government property, parading or demonstrating in a capitol building.

            According to the government’s evidence, U.S. Capitol Police learned that an individual had entered the restricted office area of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and was photographed with his feet propped up on furniture. Those photos were circulated on numerous news media platforms which identified the individual as Barnett. A search of law enforcement databases confirmed that the individual in the news photographs did in fact appear to be Barnett. 

            Evidence established that Barnett carried a Zap Hike ‘N Strike Walking Staff with spike electrodes with him as he traveled through the Capitol, and that he exposed those spike electrodes as various points that day, including during a face-to-face encounter with a Metropolitan Police Officer. During that encounter, Barnett threatened to call in the mob and push through the line of officers if the officer did not go and retrieve Barnett’s flag, that he had left in the officers of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. 

            This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

            This case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Little Rock, Arkansas and Washington Field Offices, with the assistance of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

            In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

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