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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Assaulted Police Officers in Tunnel

            WASHINGTON – A Texas man was sentenced today in the District of Columbia on charges related to his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and those 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.

            Matthew DaSilva, 51, of Lavon, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols to 28 months in prison and six months of supervised release.

            On July 19, 2023, Judge Nichols found DaSilva guilty of felony charges of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. In addition to the felonies, DaSilva was found guilty of a misdemeanor offense of act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings. 

            According to the government's evidence, DaSilva was present among a crowd of rioters amassed on the west front of the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. At approximately 2:35 p.m., DaSilva made his way to the west plaza of the Capitol grounds, holding a flagpole and waving a large blue flag. At around 4:20 p.m., DaSilva was observed on Capitol Police CCTV footage at the back of a group of rioters, engaging in a group "heave-ho" maneuver in an attempt to dislodge law enforcement from their position defending the Lower West Terrace Tunnel entrance to the building. The Tunnel was the site of some of the most violent attacks against law enforcement on January 6th.

            At approximately 4:33 p.m., DaSilva was observed approaching a group of officers assembled in the Tunnel and forcibly pushing against an officer's outstretched riot shield. DaSilva is then seen grabbing a riot shield and pulling it away from an officer. Court documents say that DaSilva then made further physical contact when he swatted the officer's arm away as the officer attempted to deploy a handheld canister of OC spray. 

            This 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 and Dallas Field Offices, with valuable assistance provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 39 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,387 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 500 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 April 23, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-354