A Texas man was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for civil disorder, obstruction of justice and other charges for his actions before, during and after the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. His actions and those of others were disrupted a joint session of the US Congress convened to verify and count electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Guy Wesley Reffitt, 49, of Wylie, Texas, was the first to stand trial among hundreds of defendants charged in connection with the capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021. He was found guilty by a jury in the District of Columbia on March 8, 2022 of five counts, including two counts of civil disorder and one count each of obstructing official process, entering and staying in a building or restricted area with a firearm fire and obstruction of justice.
“Guy Reffitt came to the Capitol on January 6 armed and determined to incite violence,” said Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. “In his own words, his goal was to take the Capitol ‘before the end of the day.’ He and others contributed to the numerous assaults on law enforcement officers that day, endangering “Countless others, including lawmakers. Today’s jury verdict and sentencing hold him accountable for his violent and unconscionable conduct.”
“Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of the crimes committed by Mr. Reffitt and underscores the blind disregard he had for one of the pillars of our democracy – the peaceful transition of power,” the deputy director said in instructs Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s field office in Washington. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners continue to be steadfast in their commitment to ensuring that all individuals who committed crimes on January 6 are held accountable for their actions.”
According to government evidence, Reffitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters, a militia organization. He sent messages recruiting other members of the band to join him on a trip to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. Among other things, he told the band, “We’ll hit the game in DC the 6the.” Another militia member joined Reffitt, and the two left Texas on January 4 for a trip of more than 1,000 miles in Reffitt’s car. Both men brought handguns and AR-type rifles.
On the morning of January 6, the two men went to a rally on the Ellipse before heading to the Capitol. They wore body armor and carried handguns, flexible handcuffs and radios for communication. Reffitt also had a megaphone as well as a helmet with a top-mounted camera for recording purposes. His mission, according to the evidence, was to prevent Congress from taking action. It specifically targeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He told members of his militia and those around him at the Ellipse that he planned to physically drag Speaker Pelosi out of the Capitol building by her ankles.
Reffitt repeatedly made statements recorded by his helmet camera while at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, including one in which he said, “We’re taking the Capitol before the end of the day.
At approximately 1:50 p.m., Reffitt was at the front of a platoon that charged U.S. Capitol Police officers onto the terrace on the west side of the Capitol building. He climbed a ramp, led the crowd down the stairs outside the Capitol building, and continued to advance on the officers holding the police line, even though he was repeatedly struck by the projectiles less than lethal and OC aerosols of officers.
As he kept moving forward, Reffitt urged the others to keep moving forward as well. He eventually climbed the stairs leading outside the Senate wing of the Capitol, as others entered the building, but he did not personally go inside. While recounting a video he recorded that day, he said, “I said I wouldn’t leave until I got in there. I did not succeed. But I lit the fire.
Reffitt later bragged about his actions in conversations with his traveling companion as well as in messages and a meeting with other militia members. On January 9, 2021, for example, he wrote: “We took the capital of the United States of America and we will do it again. But his mood quickly changed. On January 10, 2021, after learning that the leader of the Texas Three Percenters had been questioned by Texas law enforcement officers, Reffitt sent messages to several other members of the group, urging them to “begin purging all previous conversations. NOW.” Heeding his own advice, he deleted from his iPhone a thread of Telegram messages between him and the militia leader in which he revealed his intention to be armed during the attack on the Capitol.
Reffitt also told his family what he had done and threatened his teenagers to stop them from reporting him to law enforcement.
Reffitt was arrested on January 16, 2021 and has been detained ever since. During a search of his home, FBI agents located the AR-15 style rifle and .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol that Reffitt had brought to Washington. They also located an illegal firearm containing pepper spray, flexible handcuffs and other items.
At the end of his prison sentence, he will be placed under three years of probation. He must also pay $2,000 in restitution.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI’s Dallas Resident Agency Frisco, and the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office Austin Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Capitol Police.
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.