MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Millington man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the U.S. Department of Justice says.
Ronald Sandlin, 35, of Millington reportedly pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
According to the DOJ, Sandlin and two other men began planning to interfere with the transition of presidential power in December 2020.
The DOJ says Sandlin created a post on Facebook claiming he was going to organize a caravan to travel to Washington, D.C. Sandlin is said to have created a GoFundMe for the trip.
The DOJ says Sandlin and his co-conspirators also created a private Facebook chat and talked about “shipping guns” to Sandlin’s home.
Sandlin reportedly made several posts on Facebook before traveling to the Capitol on Jan. 6. According to the DOJ, one video showed Sandlin repeatedly stating, “Freedom is paid for with blood.”
Sandlin, who the DOJ says was armed with a knife, reportedly marched to the Capitol, scaled the barricades, got past law enforcement officers, and pushed other rioters to get closer to the Capitol Building.
Sandlin is said to have entered the Capitol Building at 2:35 p.m. Sandlin reportedly pushed against officers who were guarding the door to the Capitol Rotunda.
The DOJ says that at one point, Sandlin told the officers, “You’re going to die, get out of the way” before grabbing an officer’s helmet.
The DOJ says Sandlin shoved officers and that his hand “made contact with the side of an officer’s head.”
A video also shows Sandlin smoking marijuana in the Rotunda. The DOJ says Sandlin also stole a book from a desk in a Senate-side office and carried an oil painting from the Capitol over his shoulder before other rioters took it from him.
Sandlin reportedly left the Capitol Building at 3:16 p.m.
The DOJ says Sandlin then deleted messages and photos related to the Capitol riot.
Sandlin was arrested in Las Vegas on Jan. 28, 2021. He will be sentenced on Dec. 9, 2022.
The DOJ says Sandlin faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding charge and eight years in prison for the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
According to the DOJ, more than 870 people have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.