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California man gets four and a half years for role in US Capitol riot

Prosecutors say Jeffrey Scott Brown dove toward the front of a makeshift police line and used a stolen can of pepper spray on officers

President Donald Trump
People loyal to President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.John Minchillo (AP)

A Southern California man who assaulted police with pepper spray during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, federal authorities announced.

Jeffrey Scott Brown, 56, of Santa Ana received a sentence of 54 months in federal prison for felony and misdemeanor charges related to the mob attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Friday press statement.

More than 1,000 individuals have been arrested, including more than 320 people who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, the DOJ said. Trump supporters that day tried to stop Congress from certifying presidential election results for Joe Biden, a Democrat, over Trump, a Republican.

Brown and two co-defendants were found guilty at trial in December.

Peter J. Schwartz of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be sentenced in May. It was not clear why Markus Maly of Fincastle, Virginia, was not sentenced Friday as scheduled.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 70 months for Brown, who they say dove toward the front of a makeshift police line and used on officers a stolen can of pepper spray handed to him by Schwartz.

Brown’s attorney, Samuel C. Moore, sought 40 months in prison, according to court documents.

Moore said that the conduct involved “less than 10 minutes of Mr. Brown’s life” and the alleged pepper spray “did not make contact with any specific victim.” Still, Moore wrote, Brown admits he should never have been in the Capitol tunnel that day and that he takes responsibility for doing so.

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