Florida man sentenced for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol

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A Florida man has been sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison on three felony counts related to the January 2021 insurrection and storming of the US Capitol.

WASHINGTON — A Florida man was sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison on three felony counts related to the insurrection and storming of the US Capitol on January 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 official procedure, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.

Gardner was arrested in Tampa in June 2021.

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

According to the criminal complaint, Gardner was part of a mob just outside the tunnel on the lower west terrace of Capitol Hill and used a pepper spray device on officers inside the tunnel area. The contents struck one officer directly in the face shield and splashed onto two other officers, authorities said.

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

While inside the Capitol, Gardner motioned for other rioters to approach or enter the building, authorities said. He also handed another rioter what appeared to be a table or desk leg, and that item 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, authorities said. More than 320 people have been accused of assaulting or impeding compliance with the law.

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