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Press Release

Ohio Man Convicted of Assaulting Law Enforcement and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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

            WASHINGTON – An Ohio man was convicted today of multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses, including assaulting law enforcement during the Jan. 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 2020 presidential election.

            Jonathan Joseph Copeland, 29, of Lima, Ohio, was convicted of six felonies and two misdemeanor offenses in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following a bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich.

            Specifically, Copeland was convicted of the felony offenses of civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, all with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Copeland was also convicted of misdemeanors for an act of physical violence in the Capitol building or grounds and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building.

            Judge Friedrich will sentence Copeland on Sept. 18, 2024 at 1 p.m.  

            According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, Copeland traveled from Ohio to Georgia to hear then-President Trump speak, and then to Washington, D.C., where he attended portions of the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Ellipse. Afterward, Copeland marched with others to the Peace Circle, located on U.S. Capitol grounds, where he walked around the downed barriers at the Peace Circle and moved towards the front of a line of rioters behind a bike-rack-style barrier manned on the opposite side by several U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers protecting the U.S. Capitol complex.

            At approximately 12:52 p.m., a group of rioters, including Copeland, advanced on the manned bike rack barricade. They pushed through the officers and the barricade to move closer to the building. Specifically, Copeland, with his arms outstretched, pushed on the backs of other rioters as those rioters pushed on the barricade. After the rioters overwhelmed the officers and trampled over the barricade, Copeland and his fellow rioters charged forward toward the West Plaza.

            At approximately 1:40 p.m., Copeland participated in pushing a large metal frame holding an oversized “TRUMP” sign into a defensive line of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and USCP officers, who were attempting to prevent a further advance towards the Capitol building. Copeland placed both hands onto the sign and pushed it into the line of officers.

            Court documents and trial testimony reflect that the all-metal frame was approximately eight feet tall and ten feet wide, welded with screws, and supported by large casters and wheels that were approximately the size of a person’s head. As described by one MPD officer who was a member of the defensive police line, the sign frame was heavy, with sharp metal angles jutting towards the officers.

            Also on the West Front, Copeland began arguing with a photographer within the crowd. Copeland shoved the cameraman several times and then a group of rioters attacked the photographer and pushed him off a ledge.

            Court documents and trial testimony reflect that Copeland entered the Capitol building at 2:25 p.m. via the Senate Wing Door. Once inside, he traveled through the Crypt and to the Capitol Visitor Center, repeatedly waving at other rioters to join him further inside the Capitol building. He finally exited the building at approximately 2:41 p.m. via a window next to the Senate Wing Door.

            The FBI arrested Copeland in Fort Shawnee, Ohio on Aug. 25, 2022.

            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 Office for the Northern District of Ohio provided valuable assistance.

            The FBI’s Cleveland and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. The United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

            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 8, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-404