Skip to main content
Press Release

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Assaulting Law Enforcement and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Attacked Law Enforcement, Sprayed Chemical Irritant, and Stole Riot Shields

          WASHINGTON - A New Jersey man was sentenced to 12 years in prison today after he was previously convicted of 14 charges, including 12 felonies, as a result of 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.

          Christopher Joseph Quaglin, 37, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, was sentenced to 144 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden. On July 10, 2023, the court found Quaglin guilty of 14 charges, including 12 felonies and two misdemeanors. 

          According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, Quaglin planned to travel to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, a date he understood when Congress would meet in a joint session to certify the electoral college votes. 

          As he explained on social media, Quaglin traveled to Washington, D.C., to fight in what he believed would be a "CIVIL WAR!" Quaglin posted on social media explaining his plans and intentions for his trip to D.C., which included fighting in the streets of D.C. against a tyrannical government and showing the members of Congress who their bosses were. He prepared for "war" by encouraging others to purchase weapons for their travel to D.C., and he planned to bring full body armor, gas masks, helmet, knives, a full medical kit, bear spray (the HUGE cans that spray at least 30 feet), and firearms.  

          On the day of Jan. 6, 2021, Quaglin wore a hard-sided helmet, full-faced gas mask, and carried a large backpack. In the early hours of Jan. 6, Quaglin attended the "Stop the Steal" rally at the Ellipse and then made his way toward the Capitol building before the speeches ended. 

          At about 12:50 p.m., Quaglin was part of the initial group of rioters who overtook the police line and pushed past bike rack barricades at Peace Circle, paving the way for the mob to engulf the West Front of the Capitol grounds. After Quaglin and other rioters surged forward through the barriers and made their way to the Lower West Plaza, Quaglin engaged in violence against officers on the West Front for the next hour and a half. 

          At about 1:08 p.m., Quaglin pushed into one officer and forcibly pushed into a second officer several times. Quaglin swatted and aggressively yelled at the officer until another individual from the crowd pulled him back. Quaglin then maneuvered through the mob of rioters facing the police line, emerged from the crowd, and again charged towards the police line, making contact with numerous officers. Quaglin approached a USCP Sergeant and aggressively pointed his finger inches away from the sergeant's face. Suddenly, Quaglin reached forward with both hands, grabbed the officer by the neck, and forcibly tackled the officer to the ground. His attack initiated a brawl between rioters and police officers. Quaglin then approached the Deputy Police Chief of the USCP and forcibly pushed him several times. Later, as one officer bent down to pick an object from the ground, Quaglin hit the officer in the head with a gas mask.

          After officers successfully returned Quaglin behind the barricades, Quaglin immediately reinitiated his attack. Quaglin pulled on a bike rack barrier and reached across the bike racks, making contact with several additional officers. Quaglin then worked with other rioters to forcibly rip one of the barrier fences out of the hands of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers. Around 2:34 p.m., body-worn camera footage captured Quaglin lunging at an officer and pushing him down, turning and grabbing another officer by the helmet, and then pushing into a third officer. 

          Eventually, rioters overran the police line in this area, and officers retreated. Quaglin followed the officers and continued to assault and berate them as the officers tried to escape from the encroaching mob. The officers retreated to the Lower West Terrace Tunnel, the site of some of the most violent attacks against law enforcement on January 6th. Quaglin followed. 

          Quaglin entered the Tunnel by 3:03 p.m. and quickly made his way to the front of the mob of rioters. Inside the Tunnel, Quaglin forcibly ripped a police riot shield from the hands of an officer, causing the officer to fall onto the ground. Quaglin later stole another police shield and used it to attack police officers in the Tunnel, as he yelled epithets at officers, including calling them "TRAITORS!" 

          Court documents say that, at 3:06 p.m., Quaglin raised a can of chemical irritant in the air, reaching around the officers' shields, and sprayed the officers directly in their faces. Quaglin is later seen at the front of the mob in the Tunnel forcibly pushing into police officers. He collaborated with the mob behind him as they yelled "HEAVE! HO!" and collectively bashed into the police line. Quaglin remained at the front of the line of rioters assaulting and impeding police officers until approximately 3:18 p.m. when he was pushed out of the Tunnel with other rioters.

          According to evidence presented in Court, Quaglin expressed no remorse for his crimes on January 6th. To the contrary, after these convictions, Quaglin continued to boast about his involvement in the riot and express pride in his conduct, disclaiming any responsibility for his role in the riot and spreading misinformation claiming that January 6 was a "set up" and that he was a political prisoner. 

          The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section prosecuted this case. The U.S. Attorney's Offices for the District of New Jersey provided valuable assistance.

          This case was investigated by the FBI's Washington Field Office, which listed Quaglin as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #58 on their seeking information photos. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the FBI-Newark Field Office, U.S. Capitol Police, and 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: 24-464