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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 8, 2021

U.S. Attorney Dunavant Announces That Federal Authorities Are Investigating Any Potential Violations of Federal Law by Residents of Western District of Tennessee at U.S. Capitol

Memphis, TN – United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced today that his office, in coordination with the Memphis Field Division Office of the FBI, will investigate and charge any potential violations of federal law at the United States Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021 committed by individuals from the Western District of Tennessee.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law. We are working closely with our partners at the FBI, who are actively investigating to gather evidence, identify perpetrators, and charge federal crimes where warranted," Dunavant said. "Any person who traveled from West Tennessee to commit federal crimes in Washington, D.C., as well as anyone who conspired with them or aided or abetted such lawlessness will be aggressively prosecuted by this office."

Individuals in the Western District of Tennessee with any information related to the identity of those involved in the commission of federal crimes at the Capitol are asked to contact the FBI Memphis Field Division Office at 901-747-4300. Additionally, tips may be submitted to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or at fbi.gov/USCapitol.

Dunavant noted federal statutes that may be applicable, including:

18 United States Code section 231 – Civil Disorder, which prohibits adversely affecting any federally protected function or obstructing any law enforcement officer from the performance of official duties, or any person who transports a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device to be used in furtherance of civil disorder. This federal crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.

18 United States Code section 2101 – The Federal Riot Act, which applies to anyone who travels in interstate commerce to incite, promote, or participate in a riot. This includes anyone who aided or abetted individuals who carried on a riot or committed any act of violence in furtherance of a riot. This federal crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.

18 United States Code section 1361 – Damage to Federal Property, which applies to anyone who willfully injures or causes damage to or against any property of the United States. This federal crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

18 United States Code section 2383 – Rebellion or Insurrection, which provides that whoever incites, assists or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the United States faces up to 10 years in prison.

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Contact: 
Cherri Green Reentry and Community Outreach Coordinator Cherri.green@usdoj.gov (901) 544-4231
Updated September 29, 2021