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Justice News

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

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Assault Charge in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Assaulted Multiple Police Officers

            WASHINGTON – A Utah man pleaded guilty today to a felony assault 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 2020 presidential election.

            Justin Dee Adams, 49, of West Jordan, Utah, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to one count of assaulting, resisting, and impeding certain officers. U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg scheduled Adams to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2023.

            According to court documents, Adams – a licensed gun dealer - traveled with two companions from Utah to Washington, D.C., to protest Congress' certification of the Electoral College vote. Adams posted a photo online showing him and two other men standing in front of a vehicle along with text that said he was “starting the road trip” and “driving out to DC to smack a couple politicians around [emoji] … maybe.”  On Jan. 6, 2021, following the rally at the Ellipse, Adams marched to the Capitol building, where he joined a mob on the Upper West Plaza. Many of Adams’ actions were captured on body-worn camera video.

            At about 2:04 p.m., Adams confronted the police line defending the building. Adams raised his hands above his head and walked toward police officers until he made physical contact with one or more officers. He was subsequently pushed back several feet. Adams then charged at the police line, attacking one or more Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers. He struck an MPD officer, who was wearing a helmet, twice in the head.

            At approximately 2:13 p.m., Adams grabbed a metal bicycle rack that police were using as a barricade to prevent rioters from advancing further into the restricted areas. An officer attempted to prevent Adams from removing the bike rack. Adams threw a plastic bottle at the police officer. Adams and another rioter pulled the bike rack away from the police and dragged it into the crowd.

            Adams later wrote of his actions that day: “We safely made it out of Washington DC before the lockdown, and before the gunfire of the capitol police. Got a little roughed up but the politicians are no longer meeting the standards We the People require our elected officials to meet. Great times are coming, but difficulty will be required before.”

            FBI agents arrested Adams on Oct. 19, 2022, in Utah.  

            A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            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 District of Utah.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Salt Lake City and Washington Field Office, which identified Adams as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #374 on is seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 24, 2023