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Press Release

Georgia Man Arrested on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Father Arrested on Felony Charges and Two Adult Sons Arrested on Misdemeanor Charges

           WASHINGTON – A Georgia man and his two adult sons were arrested today on charges related to their actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Their 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.

           William Gallagher, 55, of Ellijay, Georgia, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of civil disorder. In addition to the felony, William Gallagher is charged with misdemeanor offenses of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

           The FBI arrested William Gallagher today in Georgia, and he is expected to make his initial appearance in the Northern District of Georgia.

           The FBI also arrested William Gallagher’s two adult sons, James Gallagher, 22, and Thomas Gallagher, 25, both of Ellijay, Georgia, on misdemeanor charges related to their conduct at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

           According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the U.S. Capitol building depicts William Gallagher entering the building and entering the Rotunda at approximately 2:26 p.m., shortly after the Rotunda doors had been breached. Inside the building, William made his way to Statuary Hall and back to the Rotunda before placing calls to his two sons, Thomas and James.

           It is alleged that William then returned to the lobby area near the Rotunda doors at 2:36 p.m. By this time, the Rotunda Doors had been re-secured by U.S. Capitol Police, and James and Thomas Gallagher remained outside the building. At about 2:38 p.m., rioters began pushing the Rotunda Doors to open them from the inside. Despite U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers guarding the doors, William Gallagher participated in that effort for approximately 90 seconds.

           Court documents say that Gallagher placed his gloved hands on a USCP officer and proceeded to lean back and forcibly pull that officer off the doors. After pulling the officer from his position, William placed his hands on the officer again and, with the assistance of another rioter, pushed the officer out of the entryway. As a result of these actions, the Rotunda Doors were breached yet again, which allowed rioters to stream into the U.S. Capitol building.

           William then returned to the Rotunda, and at about 2:45 p.m., James and Thomas Gallagher entered the building via the Rotunda doors and met up with their father, William, in the Rotunda. The three men then made their way toward the Senate Chamber, and about ten minutes later, the trio returned to the Rotunda.

           Law enforcement officers began clearing the area of rioters shortly thereafter, and the three men exited the Capitol building via the Rotunda Doors at approximately 3:12 p.m. Court documents say that William Gallagher was inside the U.S. Capitol building for approximately 46 minutes, and James and Thomas Gallagher were inside for approximately 27 minutes.

           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 Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

           The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Atlanta and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

           In the 40 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,424 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 500 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

           A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 6, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-395