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Virginia man pleads guilty to felony charges for actions during Jan. 6 Capitol breach

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A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to felony charges for destroying media equipment and other illegal conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to a report, 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.

Joshua Dillon Haynes, 40, of Covington, Virginia, today, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of property.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, at about 2:30 p.m., Haynes was illegally on restricted grounds, part of a mob that gathered on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, outside the East Rotunda Doors.

The documents stated that he followed a mob of rioters and entered the Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door. He remained there until approximately 3:12 p.m., walking in areas including the Crypt and inside the office of a U.S. Senator.

While outside the building, Haynes assisted two other individuals in forcibly removing an air conditioning unit from a building outside the Capitol and dropped the unit to the ground, the documents say.

“At about 4:50 p.m., a large crowd of rioters made its way to and past a media staging area that was set up outside the northeast corner of the Capitol, on the grounds.”

It was also reported that media members were forced to flee the area before they could recover their cameras and associated equipment.

Another report says numerous members of the crowd destroyed equipment, including cameras, tripods, and remote broadcasting equipment.

“At about 5 p.m., Haynes picked up and slammed down multiple pieces of equipment that belonged to media outlets.”

Later Jan. 6, after the equipment at the media staging area was destroyed, Haynes sent an associate a text message saying, “broke lotsa stuff.”

He then sent an image with the message, “We attacked the CNN reporters and the fake news and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of their video and television equipment.”

He also sent this message to the same associate, “I want to get busted for tearing up the nations capital and the fake news.”

Haynes was arrested on July 1, 2021, in Covington, Virginia. He is to be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2023.

He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding and up to five years in prison for destruction of property.

The charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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

Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Haynes as #203 on its website seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the 21 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 880 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 270 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

The investigation remains ongoing.

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