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Press Release

South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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

            WASHINGTON – A South Carolina man pleaded guilty today to 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.

            Christopher George Rockey, 54, of Cross, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras. Judge Contreras will sentence Rockey on Nov. 12, 2024.

            According to court documents, Rockey traveled from South Carolina to Washington, D.C., to attend the former President’s speech on the Ellipse and later walked toward the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol building. Rockey entered the building at approximately 2:23 p.m. via the Senate Wing Door. Once inside, Rockey made his way into the Rotunda and toward the House Chamber. Rockey and a group of rioters eventually encountered a line of police officers who were attempting to stop the crowd from advancing, however the mob eventually pushed past the police. Rockey continued to walk through the Capitol building and eventually exited via the East Front House Door at approximately 2:44 p.m.

            After exiting the Capitol, Rockey joined up with other rioters on the Upper Terrace on the north side of the Capitol building. At approximately 4:35 p.m., law enforcement officers began attempting to clear this area of rioters. Rockey then made his way toward the officers, ignored police commands, and grabbed a police officer’s riot shield. Court documents say that Rockey pulled the officer’s shield down, potentially exposing the officer to harm. Approximately two minutes later, Rockey grabbed onto a police officer’s baton and pulled another officer’s riot shield down.

            Court documents say that Rockey’s decisions to confront the officer were part of an effort by the mob to stop law enforcement from advancing and clearing the Upper Terrace of rioters.

            The FBI arrested Rockey on Dec. 13, 2023, in South Carolina.

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina provided valuable assistance. 

            The FBI's Columbia and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. Rockey was identified as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #500 on the FBI’s seeking information images.  Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 41 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,450 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 tips.fbi.gov.

Updated June 12, 2024

Topic
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-503