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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 22, 2022

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison for Actions Related to Capitol Breach

Defendant, an Army Reservist, Used Tactical Hand Signals and Commands as He and Other Rioters Entered the Building

            WASHINGTON – An Army reservist from New Jersey was sentenced today to 48 months in prison on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from 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.

            Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, was sentenced in the District of Columbia.

            According to the government’s evidence, Hale-Cusanelli drove to Washington on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. He joined a mob of rioters that illegally breached a police line attempting to secure the Capitol grounds. He commanded others in the mob to “advance” on the Capitol, a command he continued once inside. Hale-Cusanelli was among the first rioters to enter the Capitol Building, moving inside shortly after the breach that took place at 2:12 p.m. at the Senate Wing Door. He made harassing and derogatory statements toward Capitol Police officers, saying that a “revolution” was coming. He remained in the building for approximately 40 minutes. Days after the incident, Hale-Cusanelli told a friend that being in the Capitol was “exhilarating,” he was hoping for a “civil war,” and that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

            At the time of the Capitol breach, Hale-Cusanelli was enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. Hale-Cusanelli worked as a contractor at a naval weapons station, where he had a “secret” security clearance, and has since been barred from the facility.

            Hale-Cusanelli was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021. He was found guilty by a jury on May 27, 2022, of a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, and four related misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building. At sentencing today, the Court found that Hale-Cusanelli obstructed justice during the trial, when he made certain statements under oath, and applied an enhancement to the sentence. Following his prison term, Hale-Cusanelli will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.

            The 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 District of New Jersey.

            The case was investigated by the Northeast Field Office of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI’s Newark and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 20 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 870 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 265 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.

 

Updated September 22, 2022