North Carolina man pleads guilty to felony charge for offenses committed during Jan. 6 capitol breach | USAO-DC

WASHINGTON – A North Carolina man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to his actions during the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was verifying and to count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Lewis Easton Cantwell, 36, of Waynesville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstructing, obstructing or interfering with law enforcement in the commission of civil disturbance. According to court documents, on January 6, Cantwell joined other rioters outside one of the entrances to the Capitol and used his cell phone to make several video recordings of individuals fighting with law enforcement officers. During one of the recordings, he shouted at the rioters to “open the door”. At another point he shouted that they needed “new patriots at the front”.

Cantwell was arrested on February 18, 2021 in Asheville, North Carolina. He is due to be sentenced on September 22, 2022. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge 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 and the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Valuable assistance was provided by the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 245 people charged with assaulting or obstructing the ‘law application. The case is still ongoing.

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