WASHINGTON – A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today to two felony charges, including for assaulting law enforcement officers, 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.
Marshall Neefe, 25, of Newville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. According to court documents, Neefe and a co-defendant, Charles Bradford Smith, communicated with each other and others on Facebook in the weeks preceding Jan. 6. For example, on Nov. 4, 2020, a day after Election Day, Neefe wrote to Smith, “Im getting ready to storm D.C.” The two subsequently shared their intentions and plans to travel to Washington on Jan. 6.
In one such communication, Neefe wrote, “We goin? ...Cause hot damn son I really wanna crack some commie skulls.” The two discussed bringing “batons” with them, and Neefe sent a photograph of a wooden club he had made to Smith and others, with a caption that called it “The Commie Knocker.” Neefe and Smith traveled to Washington, D.C. together. On Jan. 6, both illegally entered the Capitol grounds. Neefe carried the wooden club and participated in hoisting and pushing a large metal sign frame – at least eight feet tall and 10 feet wide -- into a defensive line of officers attempting to prevent the crowd from further advancing on the west front plaza of the Capitol. Neefe later entered the Capitol building, including the Rotunda, disregarding commands to leave.
Smith, 25, of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, has pleaded not guilty to charges.
Neefe was arrested on Sept. 13, 2021. He is to be sentenced on Aug. 17, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and an additional eight years in prison on the assault charge. Both 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.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office and its Capital Area Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Police Department.
In the 15 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 800 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.