Jun 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 rioter who used Taser on police sentenced to 12.5 years in prison

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

A California man who assaulted a police officer with a stun gun during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was sentenced on Wednesday to over 12 years in prison.

Why it matters: Federal prosecutors previously said Daniel Rodriguez's actions during the riot amounted to domestic terrorism, calling him "one of the most violent defendants" of Jan. 6.

  • Rodriguez pleaded guilty in February to four felonies, including conspiracy and assaulting a police officer during the Capitol riot.
  • Prosecutors initially sought a 14-year prison sentence, which was lengthier than most Jan. 6 defendants, due to the extent of Rodriguez's actions.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman sentenced Rodriguez to 151 months in prison, a Department of Justice spokesperson told Axios.

  • Rodriguez was also sentenced to 36 months of supervised release. He must also pay a $400 special assessment, restitution in the amount of $2,000 to Architect of the Capitol, as well as $96,927 to the Metropolitan Police Department for damages to the victim.

Catch up quick: Rodriguez was part of a Telegram group chat called the “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang," which advocated for violence against people "perceived as liberal, or communist ideologies, or held positions of authority in the government," per the original indictment.

  • Rodriguez and his co-conspirator, Edward Badalian, exchanged hundreds of messages with references to war and revolution. They named "traitors" and "tyrants" who they believed should be in prison or dead.
  • During the insurrection, Rodriguez threw a flagpole at police officers and assaulted then D.C. police officer Michael Fanone with a "small, black electroshock weapon" by activating the device twice on the officer's neck, per the indictment.
  • Rodriguez attacked Fanone while he was surrounded by a crowd of Trump supporters. The officer was dragged into the mob by another rioter, Albuquerque Head, who received more than seven years in prison for his actions.

Of note: Rodriguez's defense attorneys in a separate sentencing memo said that he idolized former president Donald Trump — referring to Trump as “dad” in his social media chats leading up to the riot.

The big picture: Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states, “including nearly 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement,” per the DOJ.

  • Fanone, who resigned in Dec. 2021, gained national attention after testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee about his experience during the riot.
  • Fanone suffered a minor heart attack and a traumatic brain injury after he was tased, dragged into the mob and beaten.

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