New York Man Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach
Defendant Illegally Entered Capitol, Smoked a Joint in a Senator’s Office
WASHINGTON – A New York man was found guilty in the District of Columbia on August 31 of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. 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 presidential election.
Brandon Craig Fellows, 29, of Schenectady, New York, was found guilty by a jury after a trial in U.S. District Court of felony obstruction of an official proceeding, felony entering and remaining in a restricted building. The jury also found Fellows guilty of three related misdemeanor offenses. Fellows – a handyman who lives in a converted school bus – represented himself at trial.
According to the government’s evidence, on January 6, 2021, Fellows was among a mob of rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. Fellows made his way to the Upper West Terrace by scaling the Capitol wall and assisting others in doing the same in order to avoid the massive crowd and get what he said was, “a better spot, just like at a concert.” Fellows entered the Capitol Building through a broken window by the Senate Wing door at approximately 2:47 p.m., wearing a fake beard fashioned of red yarn, a hat in the shape of a knight’s helmet, sunglasses, and carrying a flag and a trash can lid that he held as a shield.
After illegally entering the building, Fellows made his way to the office of U.S. Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D., Oregon). “I walked in and there’s just a whole bunch of people lighting up in some Oregon room… they were smoking a bunch of weed in there,” he later told a reporter. Fellows was photographed smoking marijuana in Merkley’s office with his feet up on a desk. He next went to the Crypt and walked around. He eventually left the Capitol about 3:45 p.m.
On January 12, 2021, Bloomberg published a story headlined “‘No Regrets’: A Capitol Rioter Tells His Story from Inside.” The story quoted Fellows as saying “I have no regrets… I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t break anything. I did trespass though, I guess.” That same day, Fellows posted this statement to his Facebook account: “We took the Capitol and it was glorious.” Fellows additionally had boasted about his actions during the riot in interviews with CNN, the NY Post, and Albany TV station WNYT.
Fellows was arrested on January 16, 2021, in Albany.
In addition to the two felonies, Fellows was found guilty of entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building.
This case is being 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 Norther District of New York.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Albany Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the New York State Police, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.