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Press Release

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Former Marine and Self-Proclaimed Proud Boy Charged at Police with Large Wooden Stick

            WASHINGTON – A Virginia man and self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to 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 presidential election.

            James Russell Davis, 47, of King George, Virginia, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to one count of civil disorder, a felony offense. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 12, 2023.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 5, 2021, Davis traveled from his home in Virginia to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally and protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College. Court records state that Davis, a self-proclaimed member of the Virginia chapter of the Proud Boys, communicated with other Proud Boys members via Telegram, an encrypted messaging system, about the upcoming protest. For example, on Jan. 4, 2021, Davis wrote:


            Court records say that on Jan. 5, 2021, Davis stayed overnight at a campground with other members of the Proud Boys, and on the morning of January 6, traveled to the Washington Mall near the area of the rally and then marched with members of the Proud Boys to the Capitol.

            According to court documents, at approximately 2:35 p.m. Davis was at the front of the crowd of rioters who attempted to breach the defensive perimeter guarding the staircase to the lower west terrace and personally engaged with at least three different officers while attempting to breach the police line, all while carrying a long wooden stick in one hand.

            In one encounter with law enforcement, court documents say that Davis first pushed against a police officer’s riot shield with his left hand, which was holding the stick. Davis next moved towards an officer without a shield, who was forced to push him away using a baton. Court documents state that Davis, rather than retreating, pushed back against the baton and put his right hand on the officer’s shoulder. Throughout the confrontation with the first two officers, Davis repeatedly yelled in the officers’ faces that he was a military police officer and had fought for his country.

            At approximately 2:36 pm, court records say that Davis went up to a third officer, experienced a medical issue, and then collapsed. Davis was pulled away from the police line by other rioters while law enforcement officers were forced to retreat up the staircase to the lower west terrace.  Later in the day, Davis sent a long message via Telegram describing his conduct, which read in part:

“I did hit a few cops on the head with the BIG STICK, but unfortunately lost that beautiful weapon. We pushed forward and pushed the Capitol Police up their Emergency Staircase. I was moving forward up the stairs when someone fell and like dominoes, I ended up falling on the concrete, hitting my head which knocked me out … What I do finally remember about the Assault on the Capitol, I was on the front of the line, I kept pointing to my MARINE CORPS cover and patch saying I FUCKING FOUGHT IN IRAQ FOR AMERICA and FREEDOM; WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? LET US IN OUR CAPITOL! THIS IS OUR HOUSE!”

            The charge of civil disorder carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. A federal court judge will determine the appropriate sentence after considering all factors and the U.S. Sentencing guidelines. All charges carry potential financial penalties.

            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 Eastern District of Virginia.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 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 June 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-326