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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Sentenced on Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Defendant Took Part in Confrontation With Law Enforcement Officers on the Lower West Terrace

Press release issued by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON - A Rhode Island man was sentenced today on a felony 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.

Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, was sentenced to two months in prison, followed by 12 months of probation with six months of home confinement, and restitution of $2,000 for assaulting resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and obstruction of an official proceeding. He pleaded guilty on January 27, 2023 in the District of Columbia.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Sirr was among rioters who illegally entered the Capitol grounds. He joined a line of rioters that was engaged in a confrontation with law enforcement officers in the tunnel area of the Lower West Terrace. At approximately 3:08 p.m., Sirr entering the tunnel area of the Lower West Terrace and joined rioters in assaulting officers at the front of the police line that law enforcement was using to push against the rioters who were assaulting them. Video showed Sirr pushing against the police line with his hand pressed against a police shield and participating in a struggle with a group of rioters as they moved together as a team against law enforcement.  At 3:14 p.m., Sirr exited the tunnel and reappeared an hour later, at the Lower West Terrace doorway, joining with other rioters who were pushing against police officers before being ejected from the tunnel area.

Sirr was arrested on June 29, 2022 in North Kingstown, RI.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island.

 The case was investigated by the FBI’s Boston Division and its Providence Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Rhode Island State Police and North Kingstown Police Department along with the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 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.

Contact

Public Affairs

(202) 252-6933

Updated May 23, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-64