WASHINGTON — A Colorado man who marched to the U.S. Capitol with members of the Proud Boys on Jan. 6, 2021 — and was one of the first rioters to enter the building — was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for attacking police officers with a chemical spray as they tried to hold off the mob of Trump supporters.
Robert Gieswein, of Woodland Park, was wearing a helmet, a flak jacket and goggles and was carrying a baseball bat when he stormed the Capitol. Gieswein, then 24, marched to the building from the Washington Monument with the Proud Boys but wasn’t a member of the group.
Gieswein repeatedly sprayed an “aerosol irritant” at police officers and pushed against a line of police, according to a court filing accompanying his guilty plea to assault charges.
In March, Gieswein pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting or interfering with a federal officer. Each count carried a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In exchange for the guilty pleas, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss nine other counts they filed against Gieswein.
“You were a foot soldier in one of the most disturbing riots our nation has seen in years,” U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden told Gieswein, who gets credit for the more than two years that he already has served in custody.
Federal authorities have said Gieswein appeared to be an adherent of the Three Percenters militia movement and ran a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs.
The FBI used a variety of video and images taken of Gieswein outside and inside the Capitol to identify him, his arrest affidavit states, as well as an interview Gieswein gave a television journalist the day before the riot during which he referenced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 600 of them have pleaded guilty, while over 100 others have been convicted after a trial.
Denver Post staff writer Elise Schmelzer contributed to this report.
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