Arizona man pleads guilty to 2 felonies related to Jan. 6 Capitol breach
Oct 30, 2023, 4:00 PM
(Photos via Department of Justice)
PHOENIX – An Arizona man pleaded guilty Monday to two felony charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, federal authorities said.
Jacob Zerkle, 51, of Bowie pleaded guilty before a federal judge to civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, the Department of Justice announced.
Zerkle’s sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 22, 2024.
The Arizona man traveled to Washington, D.C, to protest while Congress was convening to certify the results of the 2020 election, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Prosecutors say he entered a restricted area of the Capitol grounds and physically engaged with a line of Metropolitan Police Department officers who were outnumbered by the crowd. Zerkle also called the officers “traitors,” prosecutors said.
The behavior of Zerkle and others slowed the officers’ response to the Capitol building after rioters broke in, causing a delay in the election certification.
Zerkle was arrested in Arizona on March 15, 2022, after being identified through photos of rioters circulated by the FBI.
More than 1,100 individuals have been charged for crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 cases of assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the Justice Department.