California Man Pleads Guilty to Four Felonies, Including Conspiracy and Assaulting Police Officer During Capitol Breach

California Man Pleads Guilty to Four Felonies, Including Conspiracy and Assaulting Police Officer During Capitol Breach

Defendant Electro-Shocked Metropolitan Police Officer

            WASHINGTON, D.C. – A California man, who tased a Metropolitan Police Officer (MPD) during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, pleaded guilty today to the assault and three other charges. 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 2020 presidential election.

            Daniel Rodriguez, 40, of Fontana, California, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruction of justice, and assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Rodriguez admitted to assaulting MPD Officer Michael Fanone with a taser during the breach of the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 16, 2023.

            According to court documents, Rodriguez and others created a Telegram group chat, called the “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang,” in the Fall of 2020, and used it as a platform to advocate violence against certain groups and individuals that either supported the 2020 Presidential election results, supported what the group perceived as liberal or communist ideologies, or held positions of authority in government. The group’s activities included collecting weapons and tactical gear to bring to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, storming past barricades to gain unlawful access to the Capitol, and coordinating activities before, during, and after the riot. According to court documents, Rodriguez conspired to stop, delay, and hinder Congress’s Certification of the Electoral College Vote as well as to prevent evidence from being used in the investigation of his and his co-conspirators’ activities. 

            Rodriguez was arrested on March 31, 2021, by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

            This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Los Angeles and Washington Field Offices, along with the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 25 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 985 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including approximately 319 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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