Florida man sentenced for role in Jan. 6 Capitol attack

A Florida man has been sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison for three felony charges related to the insurrection and storming of the U.S. Capitol in January 2021

WASHINGTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison for three felony charges related to the insurrection and storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mitchell Todd Gardner II, 34, of Seffner, Florida, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in the District of Columbia, according to court records. He pleaded guilty last year to civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.

Gardner was arrested in Tampa in June 2021.

According to court documents, Gardner joined with others in objecting to Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over then-President Donald Trump. A mob attacked the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying election results for Biden over the Trump, a Republican, authorities have said. Five people died in the violence.

According to the criminal complaint, Gardner was part of a mob just outside the lower west terrace tunnel of Congress and used a pepper spray device against officers within the tunnel area. The contents hit one officer directly in the face shield and splattered onto two other officers, officials said.

Gardner also urged other rioters to use a ladder to break into a window, prosecutors said. When the ladder was not used, Gardner stood on a window ledge outside of a Senate terrace room and damaged the window with the pepper spray device.

While inside the Capitol, Gardner waved to other rioters to come closer or into the building, officials said. He also handed another rioter what looked to be a table or desk leg, and that object was used to assault police officers, prosecutors said.

Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 999 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for alleged crimes related to the Capitol breach, officials said. More than 320 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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