A man from Hildale has pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
A press release from the Department of Justice named Landon Kenneth Copeland, 34. He pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, and impeding officers. Copeland was part of a large group of rioters who converged on the Capitol around 1:11 p.m. on Jan 6, 2021. Court documents stated that Copland was in the West Plaza, a restricted area when the breach began.
Another rioter had approached a Capitol Officer and grabbed him by the collar while Copeland was behind both and pushed his way forward resulting in the officer falling to the ground, investigators said. That officer received knee, back, and hip injuries while he defended the Capitol, naming this instance as one of the reasons he sustained those injuries.
While the officer was on the ground other officers came to aid him while Copeland grabbed one of the officer's riot shields and began to push back the police line. Copeland then continued to grab another officer's collar and began fighting, again pushing an officer backward, according to prosecutors. Lowering himself to the ground, Copeland blocked incoming officers.
The Metropolitan Police Department arrived later as the assault on the Capitol continued and started placing metal bike rack-like barricades near the West Plaza, forming a perimeter around the building.
At roughly 1:14 p.m., a rioter grabbed one of the new barricades and pulled it away from an MPD officer. This began a tug-of-war between the rioters and MPD officers, with Copeland later identified as one of the rioters. As the assault went on, chemical spray was brought in and used against the rioters. Copeland used the barricade to charge the officers, using it to push and throw into multiple MPD officers, according to prosecutors.
Copeland was arrested on April 29, 2022, and is to be sentenced on Sep 9, 2022. He faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a statutory maximum of eight years in prison. Copeland will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. A Federal Court Judge will decide any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and required factors.
Copeland was #56 on The FBI’s list seeking information photos in the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which investigated the case, and in the Field Office in Salt Lake City.
Since the Jan 6 riot, more than 800 individuals have been arrested in almost all 50 states, all relating to crimes at the U.S. Capitol during the breach. Over 250 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding the law enforcement and the investigation is still ongoing.
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This article originally appeared on St. George Spectrum & Daily News: Hildale man pleads guilty for role in January 6 U.S. Capitol assault