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Justice News

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

Friday, June 16, 2023

Illinois Man Sentenced to Prison for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Entered Senate Chamber and Took Photographs

            WASHINGTON — An Illinois man was sentenced to prison today for felony and misdemeanor charges 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 that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

            Thomas B. Adams, Jr., 41, of Springfield, Illinois, was sentenced to 14 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta. In addition to the sentence, Judge Mehta ordered 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 in restitution. Adams was found guilty in February 2023 of the felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting and the misdemeanor of remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Adams passed through a security perimeter on the west side of the Capitol building where he joined rioters. At approximately 2:48 pm, Adams was among the rioters who entered the Capitol building through the Parliamentarian Door, which is a fire door. On Feb. 4, 2021, Adams told the FBI that other people had breached the door with “window washing equipment.” He also stated that he walked into the Capitol building over broken glass and that one of the doors through which he entered had a broken window.

            After entering the building, Adams ignored and walked past a line of U.S. Capitol Police just beyond the Parliamentarian Door who were attempting to stop the rioters. Once Adams made his way past the line of officers, he made his way to the Senate Chamber by walking by Vice President Pence’s ceremonial office. At approximately 3:04 p.m., Adams entered the Senate Chamber through a door on the second floor. Adams knew that he did not have authorization to enter the Senate Chamber and walked into to the Senate well, where he and multiple other rioters walked among the Senators’ desks. While on the Senate floor, Adams took pictures with his cell phone. At approximately 3:11 pm, law enforcement escorted Adams out of the Capitol building via the Senate Carriage Door. Adams described this to the FBI as being “forced out.”

            After being removed from the Capitol, Adams told a reporter that he had traveled from Springfield, Illinois, for the rally President Trump had held earlier in the day and that he had been spurred on by President Trump's claim that he had been cheated out of victory.

            On Feb. 4, 2021, Adams told the FBI that it was his intent to peacefully occupy the Capitol building. He stated, “since we were planning to occupy, we didn't know if they were going to be out there for one day, five days, or a week.”

            This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Springfield Field Office and Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 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

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated June 16, 2023