WASHINGTON - A Florida man was found guilty in the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, of felony and misdemeanor charges related to his conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. 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 2020 presidential election.
John Edward Crowley, 52, of Windermere, Florida, was found guilty of one felony and three misdemeanors following a bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden in the District of Columbia. Crowley was convicted of civil disorder, a felony, and misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds and impeding passage through the Capitol building or grounds.
Judge McFadden will sentence Crowley on Jan. 19, 2024.
According to evidence presented during the trial, Crowley traveled from his home in Florida to Washington, D.C., to attend the former president’s “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, with members of the Guardians of Freedom. Some members of the Guardians of Freedom adhere to the ideology of the Three Percenters. At the rally and throughout the day, Crowley acted in coordination with members of the Guardians of Freedom.
After the rally, Crowley made his way toward the Capitol wearing a tactical vest and belt, and, eventually, to the Lower West Terrace at about 3:30 p.m. Crowley and other rioters then converged at the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. Here occurred some of the most violent assaults on law enforcement officers on January 6th. Rioters at the Tunnel battled officers for hours as they attempted to storm the Capitol building.
At about 3:56 p.m., Crowley braced himself and began to push against the line of police officers assembled inside the Tunnel. Crowley then let another rioter stand on his shoulders who had just kicked police officers. By 4:06 p.m., Crowley had fought his way deeper into the Tunnel and engaged a law enforcement officer in a pitched battle as he attempted to push past the officer in the crushed confines of the Tunnel. Crowley continued to push despite being sprayed multiple times by an officer with a chemical irritant.
By approximately 4:08 p.m., police had pushed Crowley back to the mouth of the Tunnel., He exited the Tunnel only to return a short while later. As he did so, Crowley shouted, “C’MON!, C’MON!, C’MON!” to other rioters behind him, urging them to join him as he again attempted to force his way past the police line.
Crowley then participated in a coordinated “heave-ho” effort with other rioters against the assembled police line. He was then expelled from the Tunnel a second time via a spray repellent, only to approach the Tunnel a third time. Crowley left the Tunnel and Capitol area shortly after.
Later that day, a contact reached out to Crowley and asked, “Crowley you in D.C.?” to which Crowley replied, “I’m there!” and attached two images taken at the mouth of the Tunnel. In the same chat, a contact asked Crowley, “You got sprayed?” to which Crowley answered, “once, and then I went back for more twice!” Crowley also sent text messages stating, “It was Patriots that stormed the capital, not antifa [I was] pepper sprayed 3 times” and “ f— this fraudulent election.”
Crowley was arrested on Aug. 24, 2022, in Windermere.
The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Florida.
The FBI’s Tampa and Washington Field Offices investigated the case. The U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.