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Capitol Rioter Takes First Public Plea Deal, Agrees To Cooperate With Authorities

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An alleged member of the Oath Keepers militia group who was “among the first five or six” rioters to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 is the first person to agree to take a plea deal, Fox News has learned.

Jon Schaffer has also agreed to cooperate against others involved in the riot, officials said.

Speaking in court Friday morning, a federal prosecutor told U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta that Schaffer was “among the first five or six” rioters to enter the Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege. Schaffer is also the frontman of the band Iced Earth.


The central Indiana native who was photographed with the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol is accused of spraying police officers with a pepper-based bear spray irritant, the FBI previously said.

He was charged with several felony counts, including engaging in an act of physical violence and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.

Schaffer, 53, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, but Mehta said Friday sentencing guidelines call for 41 to 51 months in prison.

Schaffer is among more than 370 people facing federal charges in the deadly insurrection, which sent lawmakers into hiding and delayed the certification of Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election. The Justice Department has indicated it is in separate plea negotiations with other defendants.

The defendant in this case admits forcing his way into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 for the express purpose of stopping or delaying congressional proceedings essential to our democratic process. These actions are disgraceful and unacceptable” FBI Deputy Director Paul M. Abbate said in a press release announcement of the deal.

A sentencing hearing date has not yet been set. Schaffer was released and will be allowed some travel for work. He must stay out of Washington, D.C., other than for court-related matters and may not possess any firearms.

Author : Jake Gibson, Stephanie Pagones

Source : Fox News : Capitol rioter takes first public plea deal, agrees to cooperate with authorities: sources

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