Man who smoked marijuana in Capitol pleads guilty to Jan. 6 riot | Turn 420
Connect with us


Man who smoked marijuana in Capitol pleads guilty to Jan. 6 riot



A man with ties to Las Vegas who smoked marijuana inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot has pleaded guilty to federal charges as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Tennessee resident Ronald Sandlin, 35, pleaded guilty Friday in Washington, D.C., to one count each of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

By accepting the plea bargain, Sandlin dodged 10 of the 12 felony counts he initially faced in the case, including charges of civil disorder and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, federal court records show.

A similar deal was offered to one of Sandlin’s co-conspirators, Nathaniel DeGrave of Las Vegas, who pleaded guilty to the same charges in June. A third co-conspirator, Josiah Colt, has pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Sandlin and DeGrave were arrested together in Las Vegas by the FBI weeks after the Capitol riot led by an angry mob of then-President Donald Trump’s loyalists. Colt, an Idaho resident, turned himself into authorities.

According to court documents, the men traveled to Washington, D.C., to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, while “wearing protective gear, including gas/face masks, helmets and shin guards.”

After arriving on Capitol grounds, according to the records, the trio pushed past barricades and law enforcement officers toward the Capitol building before ultimately entering “through the Upper West Terrace door.”

Once inside, they pushed against officers guarding an entrance to the Capitol Rotunda, “slowly forcing the door open and letting a mob stream inside.”

Eventually, the records state, the men entered the Senate gallery, where DeGrave shouted to others on the Senate floor to “take laptops, paperwork, take everything.”

After leaving the gallery, Sandlin returned to the Capitol Rotunda, where he was captured on video smoking a marijuana joint.

“Please, may I please hit that?” Sandlin is heard saying in the video, according to his criminal complaint. “I am smoking weed. Thank you, patriot. We made history in here.”

Prosecutors say Sandlin also stole a book from a Senate-side office and attempted to take an oil painting from the Capitol, but the artwork was taken from Sandlin by others in the mob.

All three men were awaiting sentencing as of Friday, court records show. They face decades in prison.

Since Jan. 6, 2021, over 870 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states in connection with the riot, according to the Department of Justice. More than 265 of them are charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers.

Rio Lacanlale is the Las Vegas correspondent for the Reno Gazette Journal and the USA Today Network. Contact her at or on Twitter @riolacanlale. Support local journalism by subscribing to the RGJ today.

Read the full article here



Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news directly to your inbox.