(WASHINGTON) — A New Jersey man on Friday pleaded guilty to two federal counts of assaulting law enforcement and obstruction of an official proceeding during the January 6 Capitol assault.
Scott Fairlamb is the first accused rioter charged with assaulting law enforcement to plead guilty.
Prosecutors say he was seen in videos stalking a line of officers outside the Capitol before punching one in the head.
Obstruction of an official proceeding carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and the assaulting law enforcement court carries a maximum sentence of 8 years.
Prosecutors said they are seeking a sentence ranging from 41 to 51 months in prison and have said Fairlamb should pay $2,000 restitution.
Fairlamb will likely argue for less time behind bars.
Sentencing memos from both parties are due on September 20 and Fairlamb is scheduled to appear back in court on September 27.
“Are you an American? Act like one!” Fairlamb, a gym owner and former MMA fighter, is heard yelling in a body cam video, which was released to ABC and 13 other media outlets as part of the ongoing legal effort. “You guys have no idea what the f*** you’re doing.”
Prosecutors also flagged videos Fairlamb posted to his Facebook during the riot where they say he’s seen holding a collapsible baton and saying to the camera, “What do Patriots do? We f***in’ disarm them and then we storm the f***in’ Capitol!”
Fairlamb had previously hosted a pandemic protest at his Pompton Lakes gym in response to COVID restrictions and last summer posted a threatening message on Instagram targeting Representative Cori Bush.
While Fairlamb’s attorney has said the government is seeking a 51-month sentence for his client, it’s unclear what D.C. District Judge Royce Lamberth will decide is an appropriate punishment — though it could serve as a benchmark for the more than 150 rioters so far charged with attacking police.
Of the more than 30 rioters who have pleaded guilty so far in the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into the Capitol attack, only six have been sentenced and none of them to significant time in prison.
A Florida man, Paul Hodgkins, was recently sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of obstructing a congressional proceeding, and two others who had already been in government custody pending trial were sentenced to time served.
There are more than 500 people charged by the Justice Department for their actions on January 6.
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