Federal prosecutors have requested a six-month prison sentence for Ray Epps, a key figure in the January 6 U.S. Capitol breach. Epps, who some have theorized may be a federal informant, recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to disorderly conduct in a restricted building.
According to a court filing in Washington, D.C., the government is recommending a sentence at the “high end of the applicable guidelines range,” which includes six months of incarceration, one year of supervised release, and a $500 restitution fee for the 62-year-old Epps. His sentencing is scheduled for next Tuesday.
The prosecutors argue that such a sentence would protect the community, uphold the law’s respect, and discourage future crimes. They acknowledge Epps’s acceptance of responsibility for his actions, his efforts to deescalate conflicts between rioters and law enforcement, and his cooperation with both the FBI and Congress.
The filing details Epps’s involvement in encouraging individuals to march to the U.S. Capitol and join the rioters who breached the building. Although he did not physically touch law enforcement officers or enter the building, prosecutors contend that he engaged in collective aggressive conduct.
Prosecutors also highlight Epps’s multiple attempts to deescalate conflicts between rioters and police, his voluntary cooperation with authorities, and what appears to be sincere remorse for his actions and the damage to democracy. They also mention the widespread conspiracy theory that Epps was acting as a federal agent on January 6, which led to his defamation lawsuit against Fox News.
As of December, over 1,237 defendants had been charged in connection with the Capitol breach, with many pleading guilty or being convicted after trials. Former President Donald Trump has suggested that if re-elected in 2024, he might pardon a significant portion of the January 6 defendants, despite his own legal challenges related to the 2020 election and the Capitol breach.