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Justice News

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Was in Crowd That Overwhelmed Officers Trying to Secure the Senate Wing Door

            WASHINGTON – A Texas man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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.

            Geoffrey Shough, 38, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Shough attended a rally near the Ellipse and then marched with others to the U.S. Capitol. By approximately 1:50 p.m., he was with a crowd of rioters illegally on the West Lawn of the Capitol grounds. He was wearing a jacket over a body armor vest. Shough carried and waved a large Texas flag and cheered as other rioters attacked and then overwhelmed law enforcement officers nearby on the Northwest steps. Shough then moved to a courtyard outside the Senate Wing Door. Shough was among the first individuals in the crowd that overwhelmed officers during the breach of the Senate Wing Door at approximately 2:48 p.m.

            After the rioters overwhelmed the officers, Shough engaged in a very animated conversation with one or more of the officers. During his plea hearing, he acknowledged telling the officers that they “should go home.” He traveled through the Crypt, past the House Wing Door, and through the Hall of Columns before finally exiting the Capitol at approximately 3:03 p.m.

            Shough was arrested on March 1, 2022, in Austin. He is to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison for civil disorder, as well as potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            This 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 Western District of Texas.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI San Antonio Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Shough as #256 on its seeking information photos, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 19 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 860 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 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

Updated August 16, 2022