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 Utah man was sentenced today in the District of Columbia after he pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement 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, was sentenced to 17 months in prison and 12 months of supervised release by U.S. District Chief Judge James E. Boasberg. Adams pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, and impeding certain officers on Aug. 23, 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 on Jan. 6, 2021. 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."
Following the rally at the Ellipse on January 6th, Adams marched to the Capitol building, where he joined a mob of rioters on the Upper West Plaza. Many of Adams' actions were captured on body-worn camera video.
At about 2:04 p.m., Adams emerged from the mob of rioters and walked toward a line of police officers who were attempting to prevent the mob from moving further into the restricted area of the Capitol with his hands raised over his head. Adams walked straight at the officers until he intentionally pushed into them, forcing the officers to move around him. After Adams made contact with the officers, he was pushed back several feet. Adams then turned and charged at the police line, attacking the police officer and other officers who attempted to push him back. Adams struck an officer twice in the head with his hands. One of the blows hit the officer in the face mask, and the second blow hit the officer in the face underneath the mask.
After Adams struck the officer, other officers immediately pushed him back. Adams continued to gesture aggressively and yell at the officers, "Push me again! Push me again!" Other rioters attempted to hold Adams back from rushing at the police again. After attacking the officer, Adams sat down for several minutes but got up again around 2:10 p.m. and went back to the front of the mob, confronting the police line. Adams then picked up a pair of handcuffs that an officer had dropped, handed them to one officer, and advised a different officer to go to "higher ground."
At 2:13 p.m., Adams moved to the end of the police line and began attempting to disconnect one of the bicycle rack links in the barricade the police used to hold the rioters back. At this moment, numerous other rioters were yelling and fighting with the police. When an officer attempted to prevent Adams from removing the barricade, Adams threw a water bottle at the officer. Seconds later, Adams grabbed the barricade with both hands and pulled it away from several police officers. Adams and another rioter dragged the barrier away from the police line, and it disappeared into the mob. Court documents say that removing the barrier created a gap in the police line, which officers attempted to fill. Despite the officers' efforts, rioters succeeded in overwhelming the police and surged through the gap that Adams had created, flooding into the West Plaza of the Capitol. The police defensive line crumbled in multiple places and a general retreat was called. Many of these rioters subsequently entered the Capitol building.
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."
Adams was arrested on Oct. 19, 2022, in Utah.
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.
This case was investigated by the FBI's Salt Lake City and Washington Field Offices, 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 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.