Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Assaulted and Threw a Metal Barricade at Officers
WASHINGTON – A Utah man pleaded guilty today to 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.
Landon Kenneth Copeland, 34, of Hildale, Utah, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. According to court documents, Copeland was part of a group of rioters illegally gathered at approximately 1:11 p.m. on Jan. 6 on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds, a restricted area. While there, another rioter approached a Capitol Police officer and placed his hands around the officer’s collar or neck. From behind, Copeland pushed that other rioter, and the officer fell to the ground. The officer sustained injuries to his knee, back, and hip during his defense of the Capitol on Jan. 6, and attributes some of these injuries to this incident.
Immediately after the officer fell to the ground, other officers came to his assistance. Copeland grabbed a riot shield belonging to one officer and pushed against the police line. He grabbed another officer’s jacket and grappled with that officer, pushing the officer backward. Then he lowered his body to block other officers as they attempted to control the crowd.
As these assaults continued, members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrived to assist. MPD officers began placing metal bike rack-style barricades across the West Plaza in an effort to establish a perimeter around the Capitol Building. At approximately 1:14 p.m., another rioter grabbed one of these barricades, pulling it away from an MPD officer standing with it. Copeland and other rioters joined in a tug of war with officers who attempted to reclaim the barricade. As events continued, chemical spray was deployed against members of the crowd. Copeland then charged officers with the barricade, pushing and throwing it into multiple officers.
Copeland was arrested on April 29, 2021, in St. George, Utah. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 9, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of eight years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. 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 District of Utah.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which listed Copeland as #56 on its seeking information photos, and the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 16 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 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.