LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A U.S. Capitol rioter arrested in Las Vegas and who is awaiting sentencing despatched messages to buddies shortly after Jan. 6, saying he anticipated to serve prison time, and later threatened a jail officer with a chair, paperwork filed in federal courtroom the 8 News Now Investigators reviewed mentioned.
The FBI arrested Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin, 35, outdoors of Nathaniel “Nate” DeGrave’s house close to the Las Vegas Strip on Jan. 29, 2021 – three weeks after the Jan. 6 rebellion. The 8 News Now Investigators interviewed each males from jail final year.
Inside the Capitol, Sandlin tried to rip off an officer’s helmet before reaching the U.S. Senate Chamber. While leaving the constructing, Sandlin took an oil portray off a wall before leaving it behind, prosecutors mentioned.
Sandlin was additionally seen on video smoking weed contained in the constructing. He is heard on the video saying, “People are smoking weed in here. Thank you, patriot. We made history in here,” in accordance to courtroom paperwork.
Sandlin mentioned he got here to Washington, in half, due to his perception in widespread voter fraud. Even before Jan. 6, leaders of each events, together with then-Attorney General Bill Barr, a Republican, mentioned the previous president’s claims of fraud had been lies.
Sandlin pleaded responsible to expenses of conspiracy to impede an official continuing; and assaulting, resisting or impeding sure officers, in September. DeGrave pleaded responsible for his function in the riot in June.
Sandlin was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday. DeGrave’s sentencing date was scheduled for January.
Before Sandlin’s arrest in January 2021, the FBI executed a search warrant on Sandlin’s Facebook account, discovering messages between him, DeGrave and a 3rd man.
Sandlin, an web marketer, lived in Las Vegas for a number of years before transferring to Tennessee to be nearer to household in 2020. He mentioned he supposed to return to Las Vegas quickly after. Sandlin had written on social media in January 2021 that he had deliberate to drive to Washington from Memphis. According to courtroom paperwork, a put up from Sandlin mentioned he was asking for money by means of a GoFundMe web page.
Sandlin later met up with DeGrave and the third man in a Maryland resort. Prosecutors mentioned the trio got here to the world with weapons. Sandlin had a knife with him throughout the Capitol riot, however didn’t use or present it, prosecutors mentioned.
The 30-page Facebook business document offered in courtroom paperwork consists of the messages among the many trio and different chats from Sandlin’s buddies.
“Protest, but don’t commit crimes,” one particular person messaged Sandlin on Jan. 6. “You’re more valuable than a federal charge. Use your head.”
Sandlin mentioned he believed one thing may very well be finished to overturn the election by going to the Capitol, presumably by swaying lawmakers’ resolution to certify the vote, he advised the 8 News Now Investigators final year.
“It was a political rally,” he mentioned. “There’s going to be political hyperbole, you know, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ We got caught up in the moment. We got caught up in a mob mentality.”
“Thank you I did it for God and country and I’m ready to face my consequences like a man I believe God is on my side,” Sandlin messaged an individual in the times instantly after Jan. 6, in accordance to the chat log. “My lawyer said worst case scenario [is] 1 year in federal prison. I need to lose some weight anyway and it’s a small price to pay for my country.”
“I will probably spend a few months in jail worst case scenario,” Sandlin mentioned in one other chat. “My lawyer isn’t too concerned about it. I’m already working out a Netflix deal on the footage I have.”
As a part of a plea settlement, federal prosecutors are asking a choose to sentence Sandlin to not more than 63 months in prison. Sandlin’s lawyer has requested a lesser sentence of 41 months.
Prosecutors allege in September, Sandlin and several other different inmates on the jail the place he was imprisoned pending sentencing threatened a corrections officer with a chair after that officer pepper sprayed one other Jan. 6 inmate, paperwork mentioned.
The Sept. 5 incident report mentioned Sandlin and two different males “were all seen picking up burgundy in color chairs, in a throwing stance, directed toward” two officers. While the officers really helpful a cost from the incident, prosecutors didn’t file expenses.
In courtroom in September, a federal choose advised Sandlin his sentence might embrace a wonderful of as a lot as $250,000, although the ultimate whole is her’s to make.
During a detention listening to in federal courtroom final year, Sandlin requested a choose to “have mercy on” him. The choose famous Sandlin owes $500,000 in again taxes.
Five individuals died in the riot, together with an officer for the Capitol police. Federal prosecutors have filed expenses stemming from the breach in opposition to greater than 800 individuals, thus far. Damage to the Capitol constructing was estimated to be round $3 million.
No group the place Sandlin is identified to have resided, together with Las Vegas, can discover a document of him voting this previous presidential cycle, the 8 News Now Investigators reported final winter. However, Sandlin mentioned he mailed in a poll.
There is no document of him voting.