Washington State and New Jersey Men are First to Plead Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendants Repeatedly Assaulted Police and Stole Riot Shields and Batons to Aid in Attack
A Washington State man and New Jersey man each pleaded guilty today to assaulting Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election. The defendants are the first two of more than 170 charged to plead guilty to the felony charges of assault on a police officer in this investigation.
According to court documents, Devlyn Thompson, 28, of Seattle, Washington, was among a crowd of individuals on the lower west terrace who were pushing against and assaulting MPD and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers in the tunnel leading into the U.S. Capitol. Thompson admitted that he and others in the tunnel yelled obscenities at police and encouraged the continued assault. According to his plea, Thompson was part of a group that threw objects and projectiles at the officers, including flag poles, and grabbed and stole the officers’ riot shields to prevent them from defending themselves against the violence. Thompson personally observed police order rioters to stop, physically push the crowd back and deploy pepper spray in an effort to try to stop the ongoing assault. Later, Thompson picked up a metal baton from the floor of the tunnel and swung it overhead and downward against the police line in an apparent effort to knock a can of pepper spray from an officer’s hand and stop the officer from pepper-spraying the rioters. After more pepper spray was deployed by the rioters and the officers, Thompson retreated from the archway area.
Scott Kevin Fairlamb, 44, of Stockholm, New Jersey, traveled to Washington on Jan. 6 to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally. After arriving on Capitol grounds, Fairlamb climbed the scaffolding on the west terrace, where he recorded and posted a video to Instagram in which he stated, “We ain’t f****** leaving either! We ain’t f****** leaving!” According to his plea, Fairlamb was part of a large crowd that forcibly pushed through a line of police officers and metal barricades. He obtained a collapsible police baton from the ground and posted a video to Facebook displaying the baton. In the video he said, “What Patriots do? We f****** disarm them and then we storm the f****** Capitol.” He carried the police baton when he illegally entered the building and walked past broken glass of a shattered window. Once he exited, Fairlamb inserted himself into a line of MPD officers where he, unprovoked, shoved and punched an officer.
Thompson pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers while using a dangerous weapon. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. He faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Fairlamb pleaded guilty to counts two and three of the superseding indictment that charged him with obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for obstruction of an official proceeding, and up to eight years and a $250,000 fine for assault on law enforcement.
Both Thompson and Fairlamb are being held pending sentencing. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department's National Security Division are prosecuting the cases, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the District of New Jersey and Western District of Washington. The FBI’s Washington Field Office is investigating the case, with valuable assistance provided by the USCP, the MPD and FBI’s Seattle and Newark Field Offices.
In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 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.