Memphis-area man found guilty by jury of charges related to capitol breach | USAO-DC

WASHINGTON – A Memphis, Tennessee-area man was found guilty today by a District of Columbia jury of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the United States Congress convened to verify and count electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Matthew Bledsoe, 38, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, was convicted of the criminal offense of obstructing an official process and four misdemeanors, including entering and staying in a restricted building or land ; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a capitol building; disorderly conduct in a capitol building and marching, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. The jury trial proceeded before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court.

According to government evidence, in the days immediately following the November 3, 2020 election, Bledsoe began posting information about the presidential election on social media. On January 6, 2021, he attended a rally near the Ellipse. Bledsoe then proceeded to the Capitol and illegally entered Capitol Park shortly after 2:13 p.m. He then moved to the Capitol building itself. He scaled a wall on the northwest upper terrace and entered through a fire door in the Senate wing. Among other things, he shouted, “To the Capitol. It’s our home. We pay for this s—. Where are these pieces of shit? He climbed over a statue and stood outside the hallway leading to the House chamber and the hallways near the President’s lobby. He left the building around 2:47 p.m., after about 22 minutes inside.

Within two hours, however, Bledsoe returned, lingering outside the east rotunda doors as law enforcement officers worked to secure the building and grounds.

In the days following the riot, Bledsoe continued to message friends and family and post on social media about what happened on January 6. For example, on January 7, he posted photos of members of Congress taking shelter and security guards on Facebook. defend the deputies during the riot. A caption read: “How should corrupt politicians feel”.

Bledsoe, formerly of Cordova, Tennessee, was arrested on January 13, 2021.

He is due to be sentenced on October 21, 2022. The crime obstruction charge carries a legal maximum of 20 years in prison and possible financial penalties. All four offenses carry a combined statutory maximum of three years in prison and potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Field Office in Memphis. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s field office in Washington, the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 18 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 850 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 260 people charged with assaulting or obstructing the ‘law application. The investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.


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