Florida Man Sentenced On Three Felony Charges For Actions in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Florida Man Sentenced On Three Felony Charges For Actions in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Used Chemical Spray Against Law Enforcement Officers

            WASHINGTON – A Florida man was sentenced to assaulting law enforcement officers for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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.

            Mitchell Todd Gardner II, 34, of Seffner, Florida, was sentenced yesterday in the District of Columbia to 55 months in prison on the felony charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. Gardner pleaded guilty on June 27, 2022. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered 36 months of supervised release, and restitution of $3,500.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Gardner was part of a mob just outside the Lower West Terrace Tunnel from approximately 3:45 p.m. until at least 4:05 p.m., During that time, he shouted, among other things, “drag them out,” and “pull the cops out,” “grab their hands and pull them out.”  Gardner used a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Oleoresin Capsicum device against officers within the tunnel area. The contents hit one officer directly in the face shield and splattered onto at least two additional officers. This caused the officers to cough for an extended period and also burned their eyes. Gardner also urged other rioters to use a ladder to break into a window. When the ladder was not used, Gardner stood on a window ledge outside of a Senate Terrace Room and bashed the window with the Oleoresin Capsicum canister. The cost to replace that window exceeded $2,900. Gardner ultimately entered the Senate Terrace Room. While inside the Capitol, he waved other rioters to come closer or into the building. He also handed another rioter what looked to be a table/desk leg; that object was used to assault police officers.

            After Gardner exited the Capitol, he remained on the Lower West Terrace from at least 4:45 p.m. to approximately 4:58 p.m. He encouraged the mob and even cheered at 4:55 p.m. when one rioter threw a fire extinguisher into the tunnel at police officers.

            Gardner was arrested on June 25, 2021, in Tampa, Florida.

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division prosecuted the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

            The FBI’s Tampa Field Office investigated the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Gardner as #220 in its seeking information photos, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department

            In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 999 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 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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