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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Participated in Lower West Terrace Tunnel “Heave-ho”

            WASHINGTON – A Florida man was sentenced today for his conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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 sentenced to eight months in prison, six months of home detention, 36 months supervised release, and ordered to pay a 7,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden.

            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 following a bench trial before Judge McFadden on Oct. 18, 2023.

            According to court documents and 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 a group known as the “Guardians of Freedom (GoF)”. Some members of the GoF adhere to the ideology of the Three Percenters. At the rally and throughout the day, Crowley acted in coordination with members of GoF.

            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, where 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida provided valuable assistance.

            The FBI’s Tampa and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. The Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police provided valuable assistance.

            In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 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

Updated February 23, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-176