Rodney Milstreed, a Maryland man involved in the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, has been sentenced to five years in prison, according to the Justice Department. Milstreed pleaded guilty in April to assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon and illegal firearm possession. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors stated that Milstreed played a prominent role in the effort to confront police lines in front of the Capitol Building. He threw a smoke grenade at police and engaged in physical altercations over bike racks used as makeshift barriers. Milstreed struck at least one Capitol Police officer in the head with a flag pole, resulting in a concussion.
Additionally, Milstreed was among the first individuals to attack an Associated Press photographer. He threw the photographer down a flight of stairs and led a group in assaulting them. Milstreed documented his participation in the riot on Facebook, sharing photos of blood outside the Capitol and expressing his satisfaction with the violence.
During his sentencing, Milstreed expressed remorse for his actions. The weapons charge against him stemmed from a search of his home, where an unregistered AR-15 rifle was discovered. Investigators revealed that Milstreed’s dissatisfaction with the 2020 election results fueled his violent behavior. He had previously attempted to contact and join the Proud Boys militia group.
The Justice Department has reported that over 1,100 individuals have been charged with federal crimes related to the January 6th events. Of those, more than 650 have been sentenced, with approximately two-thirds receiving prison terms ranging from three days to 22 years.