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Press Release

Massachusetts Man Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Law Enforcement and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant, a Retired Police Officer, Assaulted Police Inside the Capitol

         WASHINGTON – A Massachusetts man was sentenced to prison today after he previously pleaded guilty to two felony charges stemming from 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.

         Joseph Robert Fisher, 52, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss. Fisher pleaded guilty to two felony charges of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers on Feb. 1, 2024.

         According to court documents, Fisher, a retired officer of the Boston Police Department, attended the “Stop the Steal” rally at the National Mall on Jan. 6, 2021. After the rally, Fisher walked to the Capitol Building and entered it at approximately 2:24 p.m., within ten minutes of the initial breach. Once inside, Fisher walked to the Crypt and took photos and videos as other rioters repeatedly chanted, “Stop the Steal.”

         Fisher then entered the East Crypt Lobby at approximately 2:29 p.m. United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempted to lock down the area and prevent rioters from entering the East Crypt Lobby. In the seconds before Fisher arrived, rioters used trash cans and chairs to block mechanical doors from closing. Rioters then threw chairs, trash cans, and flag poles at the officers and deployed chemical irritants against the USCP officers.

         Fisher then made his way to the Capitol Visitor Center’s Orientation Lobby at approximately 2:37 p.m. At around this time, a physical altercation began between rioters and USCP officers. A rioter sprayed a chemical irritant at the officers, and one of the officers began to pursue the rioter down a hallway.

         Fisher observed the chase and moved to assist the rioter.  Fisher grabbed a chair, hid behind a pillar, and waited as the rioter and the officer approached his position. Fisher chose his timing carefully, and just as the officer and a rioter ran by, Fisher rammed the chair into the officer, preventing the officer from apprehending the rioter. Fisher continued to assault the officer by grabbing and pushing the officer as another rioter hit and shoved the officer from behind.

         The assault ended with Fisher on the ground. Fisher exited the Capitol Building at approximately 2:42 p.m.

         The FBI arrested Fisher on March 30, 2023, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

         This case was 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 District of Massachusetts.

         This case was investigated by the FBI’s Boston Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. 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

Updated May 28, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-463