Skip to main content
Press Release

Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Civil Disorder During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

          WASHINGTON - A Minnesota man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge 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.

          Paul Orta Jr., 34, of Blue Earth, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of civil disorder before U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich. Judge Friedrich will sentence Orta on Oct. 7, 2024. 

          According to court documents, Orta traveled from Minnesota to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, at the National Mall. At approximately 12:53 p.m., Orta was on the west side of the Capitol along First Street. Around this time, a crowd of rioters, with Orta at the front, began to overwhelm officers at the Peace Memorial entrance and began to move onto Capitol grounds.

          United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers retreated from this area and attempted to set up a new police line, but some in the crowd, including Orta, pressed forward. As Orta advanced toward the Capitol and the retreating officers, he yelled, “We’re taking that s— today!” Minutes later, Orta forcefully moved at least two temporary bike racks that were being used by law enforcement to control the crowd and threw them over a concrete wall. 

          Orta then continued forward with the crowd as they overwhelmed officers again and entered the West Plaza. By approximately 1:22 p.m., law enforcement officers began to push the crowd back away from the Capitol, and Orta lobbed a dark-colored object over the heads of rioters and towards a crowd of law enforcement officers. 

          At about 2:07 p.m., law enforcement officers again attempted to form a police line with the metal bike rack barricades to prevent those in the crowd from further advancing. Court documents say that at this time, Orta pushed a bike rack barricade against the police line and made physical contact with law enforcement officers during this push. He then pushed against another rioter, pushing against the bike rack barricade. 

          The crowd eventually broke through the police line and advanced to the Lower and Upper West Terraces. As the crowd pushed forward, Orta climbed on top of a concrete wall and raised a fist in the air. 

          The FBI arrested Orta on Nov. 14, 2023, in Minnesota. 

          The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota provided valuable assistance. 

          This case was investigated by the FBI’s Minneapolis and Washington Field Offices, which identified Orta as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #148 on its seeking information photos. 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 14, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-417