Rioter who assaulted cops at Capitol gets 5 years in prison

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A Tennessee man who authorities say came to Washington ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot prepared for violence in a car full of weapons and assaulted officers who were trying to defend the Capitol was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars. Ronald Sandlin, 35, of Millington, Tennessee, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.

Two other men were separately each sentenced Friday to four years in prison Friday for their actions connected to the riot. Sandlin, who authorities say adhered to the QAnon conspiracy theory, and two other men trav-eled from Tennessee to the Washington area in a rental car packed with two pistols, two magazines of ammunition, cans of bear mace, gas masks, body armor, several knives and other gear, according to prosecutors.

Two days before the insurrection, Sandlin posted on social media a picture of another man lying on bed holding a gun and wrote: “My fellow patriot … sleeping ready for the boogaloo Jan 6,” according to court papers. Authorities say “boogaloo” referred to to civil war. On Jan. 6, prosecutors say Sandlin led the mob’s charge against officers at two points at the Capitol, shoved officers and tried to rip the helmet off of one of them. He shouted at officers: “Your life is not worth it.. you’re going to die, get out of the way,” according to court papers. Inside the building, Sandlin smoked a marijuana joint in the Rotunda of the Capitol and stole a book from an office, prosecutors say. Sandlin’s lawyer wrote in court papers that his client “allowed himself to believe in lies and disin-formation.” In a letter to the judge, Sandlin apolo-gized to the officers he assaulted and the lawmakers at the Capitol.—AP