Defendant Made Physical Contact With Law Enforcement Officers
A Texas man was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison on a felony charge stemming from his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Nolan B. Cooke, 24, of Savoy, Texas, was sentenced in the District of Columbia.
According to court documents, Cooke joined the front lines of the riot on Jan. 6 and helped lead the charge breaking through the police line. He wore a camera around his neck and recorded videos during the day. While on the restricted grounds, Cooke was part of a crowd of individuals shoving their way through a group of U.S. Capitol Police officers, who were providing security to the Capitol on the east side of the building. While in the crowd, he yelled statements such as, “There’s a storm coming,” “We’re coming through,” and “Nothing’s holding us back.”
Cooke ultimately climbed the steps to the Capitol and encountered more officers guarding the entrance. He made physical contact with one or more of these officers as he tried to push through the crowd. When he reached the door of the Capitol building, he banged on a window with a flagpole displaying the American flag. He encouraged others to “Break the glass.” Although the government has no evidence that Cooke entered the building, he committed or attempted to commit an act to obstruct, impede or interfere with one or more law enforcement officers carrying out their duties.
Cooke was arrested on Jan. 21, 2021, in Sherman, Texas. He pleaded guilty on March 9, 2022, in the District of Columbia to a charge of civil disorder. Following his prison term, Cooke will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Dallas and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
Source: The United States Attorney’s Office – District of Columbia
Photo: U.S. Department of Justice