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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Florida Man Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach

Defendant Moved Throughout Capitol Building, Including Outside the House Chamber

            WASHINGTON – A Florida man was found guilty in the District of Columbia today of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            John Herbert Strand, 39, of Naples, Florida, was found guilty by a jury of a total of five offenses, including one felony.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Strand and a co-defendant, Simone Gold, marched with a mob from a rally near the Ellipse to the U.S. Capitol, where they illegally entered the grounds. They made their way to the east side of the Capitol, where rioters broke through a defensive line set up by law enforcement. Strand and Gold then made their way up the stairs to the East Rotunda Doors. They were part of a mob outside the doors for approximately 20 minutes, starting shortly after 2 p.m. A mob inside the Capitol, meanwhile, opened the East Rotunda Doors from the inside.

            Strand and Gold moved inside the Capitol at approximately 2:27 p.m., going directly towards the House Chamber. A line of police officers blocked a group gathered there from entering the House Chamber, where members were still inside. At approximately 2:35 p.m., Strand and Gold were near the front of this group, and joined the mob pushing past officers, including one who was injured during the surge. The group was forced to leave that area at approximately 2:53 p.m.

            Before leaving the Capitol, Strand and Gold stopped in Statuary Hall, where Gold delivered a speech acknowledging that the rioters were in the Capitol to stop the certification.  They were directed out of the area and moved to the Rotunda, where Gold again gave a speech, this time criticizing covid lockdowns. They left the building at approximately 3:16 p.m.

            Gold, 56, also of Naples, Florida, pleaded guilty March 3, 2022, to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. She was sentenced on June 16, 2022, to 60 days in jail, followed by 12 months of supervised release.

            Strand was arrested on Jan. 18, 2021, in California. He and Gold were formerly from California. 

            Strand was found guilty of the felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

            Strand is to be sentenced on Jan. 12, 2023. The felony charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. The four misdemeanor offenses carry a combined statutory maximum of three years of incarceration and potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

            The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles and Washington Field Offices of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 20 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 870 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 265 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Updated September 27, 2022