Firearms and Drug Charges Filed Against District Man Who Allegedly Committed Crimes While on Pre-Trial Release for Shooting a 14-Year-Old
WASHINGTON – A Texas man was sentenced today for assaulting police officers 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 2020 presidential election.
Thomas John Ballard, 36, of Fort Worth, Tx., was sentenced to 54 months in prison for assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon, a felony offense. Ballard pleaded guilty, on July 12, 2023, in the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison term U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ordered three years of supervised release, restitution of $2,000, and a $100 special assessment.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Ballard was wearing blue jeans, a black hoodie, tan backpack, an “Infowars” baseball cap, gloves, and at times a gas mask when he joined the mob storming the U.S. Capitol.
After arming himself with a police baton, Ballard made his way to the Lower West Terrace and the tunnel area of the Capitol building where some of the most violent conflict was inflicted on police officers on January 6. Ballard initially arrived at the tunnel at approximately 3 p.m. He watched the violent assaults against the police inside the tunnel unfold for more than an hour before entering the tunnel, where he actively joined in.
About 4:28 p.m., Ballard was near the entrance of the tunnel as multiple rioters battled with police officers defending the Capitol. Ballard began a series of assaults on police officers using numerous makeshift weapons that included a piece of metal scaffolding, several pieces of a wooden plank, and a white metal pole. At approximately 4:47 p.m., Ballard threw a tabletop at officers.
Ballard then picked up an item from the ground and threw it at the officers. After searching the ground for additional projectiles, he threw what appeared to be a table leg at the officers. As the battle at the mouth of the tunnel continued, Ballard remained at the front line of rioters assaulting officers and the Capitol. About 4:50 p.m., he began assaulting officers with the police baton.
His assault on the officers in the tunnel took another turn at 4:51 p.m., when Ballard pointed a flashing strobe light at them to temporarily blind or distract them. Ballard then threw a cup of some unknown liquid at officers. He continued his assault by sliding scaffolding at the officers’ feet and legs. Finally, just prior to leaving the battle at the tunnel, Ballard threw a pole at officers.
Before he left the Capitol grounds, Ballard gave an interview during which he was asked if he had penetrated the Capitol. Ballard responded, “No. Not yet. They are holding pretty hard at the door.” Later in the interview, Ballard stated the goal was to, “get in the Capitol.” When asked about the electoral vote, Ballard responded, “From what I heard, they suspended it because they are a bunch of cowards. We scared ‘em off.”
Ballard’s actions were documented in a series of videos provided to the FBI by concerned citizens, body-worn cameras from the Metropolitan Police Department, open-source video, and surveillance footage from inside of the Capitol.
On Aug. 10, 2021, the FBI arrested Ballard in Fort Worth.
The case was 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 Northern District of Texas.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Ballard as #325 in its seeking information photos, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Dallas Field Office.
In the 35 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,230 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 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.