Nevada Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Admits Advance Planning for Interfering with Peaceful Transition of Power, Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers
WASHINGTON – A Nevada man pleaded guilty today to felony charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Nathaniel DeGrave, 32, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. As part of the plea agreement, DeGrave has agreed to cooperate with the Government’s ongoing investigation of the breach of the U.S. Capitol.
According to court documents, DeGrave and a co-defendant, Ronald Sandlin, 34, of Shelby County, Tennessee, planned to interfere with the peaceful transition of presidential power, beginning in December 2020. For example, on Dec. 31, 2020, DeGrave posted on Facebook, “Who can shoot and has excellent aim and can teach me today or tomorrow.” The same day, he, Sandlin, and a third defendant, Josiah Colt, 35, of Meridian, Idaho, began a private chat on Facebook to plan for Jan. 6. In the chat, they discussed “shipping guns” and shared meeting information.
DeGrave, Sandlin, and Colt traveled together to the District of Columbia wearing protective gear, including gas/face masks, helmets, and shin guards. DeGrave carried a can of bear spray in his pocket as well as a walkie-talkie. After arriving on Capitol grounds, they illegally went past barricades and law enforcement officers, pushing past members of the crowd to get closer to the Capitol Building. They ultimately entered the Capitol through the Upper West Terrace door.
While inside, Sandlin and DeGrave pushed against officers guarding an exterior door to the Capitol Rotunda, slowly forcing the door open and letting a mob stream inside. DeGrave shouted, “get the f*** through” and “kick [the door] the f*** open.” The three men then went together up a set of stairs and to a hallway outside the Senate Chamber. DeGrave joined in a shoving match with officers struggling to guard the doors to the Senate Gallery. The three then gained access to the Senate Gallery. While there, DeGrave shouted to others on the Senate floor to “take laptops, paperwork, take everything …”
Shortly after the riot, DeGrave deleted photographs, videos, and messages depicting the events of Jan. 6 from his phone and social media.
Colt pleaded guilty on July 14, 2021, to obstruction of an official proceeding and is awaiting sentencing. Sandlin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
DeGrave was arrested on Jan. 28, 2021, in Nevada. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and up to eight years in prison on the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. The charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Memphis Field Offices, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 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 tips.fbi.gov.