A Victorville man has accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he admits to his role in joining the mob that stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, records show.
During a video appearance in a Washington D.C. courtroom earlier this month, Jacob Lewis, 38, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol, federal court records show.
According to a “statement of offense” filed along with the plea deal, Lewis traveled to Washington D.C. from California in order to attend a Jan. 6, 2021 rally by then-President Donald Trump.
Shortly after the rally, thousands of Trump supporters flooded the U.S. Capitol in a violent but ultimately failed attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Lewis was not accused of taking part in any violence. Instead, he admitted to entering the Senate Wing Door to the Capitol Building shortly before 3 p.m., walking by the House Wing Doors, through the Hall of Columns and the Crypt and exiting out the South Door a little more than five minutes later.
Prosecutors added in court filings that Lewis admitted knowing at the time that he did not have permission to enter the Capitol building.
A week after the riots at the Capitol, Lewis was interviewed by the FBI at his home in California. According to prosecutors, Lewis admitted walking to and then into the Capitol after it had already been breached by others.
An informant tipped the FBI that Lewis had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and identified him as the owner of a local fitness facility known as The Gym. The Gym drew media attention during the pandemic for remaining open in defiance of statewide orders for non-essential businesses to close.
Lewis reportedly initially told the FBI that he had been “escorted” through federal grounds by police, and blamed the violence on “Antifa” members in disguise.
According to Lewis’ written plea deal, the charge he pleaded guilty to carries a potential maximum sentence of up to six months in prison and five years probation. In return for his plea, several other misdemeanor charges – including disorderly conduct in a restricted building and violent entry in a Capitol building – were dismissed, court records show.
Lewis is scheduled to be sentenced on Apr. 14.
More than two-dozen Southern California residents are still facing criminal charges related to the insurrection, as part of an unprecedented federal investigation that has so far resulted in criminal charges against more than 700 people nationwide.
Source : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/27/victorville-man-accepts-plea-deal-related-to-jan-6-breach-of-the-capitol/514