Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Assault of a Police Officer and Obstructing Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

            WASHINGTON – A Florida man was sentenced to prison today on two felony charges related to his conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

            Daniel Paul Gray, 43, of Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Gray pleaded guilty to two felony charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers on Oct. 25, 2023.

            According to court documents, in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, Daniel Gray, a former Mixed Marital Arts (MMA) instructor and bartender, was very active on social media expressing his distrust of the 2020 presidential election results and his eagerness to prevent President Joseph Biden Jr. from becoming president.

            On Dec. 12, 2020, Gray posted to Facebook a screenshot of the Wikipedia page for the Insurrection Act of 1807, and then captioned the picture with, “Shits about to get lit y’all. I’m actually really excited at the possibility of the insurrection act being implemented.”

            On Jan. 6, 2021, Gray attended a rally at the Ellipse and afterward made his way to a restricted area of the Capitol building on the West Plaza steps as early as 2:25 p.m. Gray was present when the police line fell on the west side of the Capitol and followed police as they retreated from the mob. At 2:41 p.m., Gray entered the Capitol through the Upper West Terrace doors.

            Inside the Capitol, Gray engaged in confrontations against law enforcement officers attempting to prevent rioters from entering the Rotunda. At 2:58 p.m., Gray was at the front of the mob when he approached an officer at the front of the defensive line. The officer told him several times to back up, then pushed Gray back with his baton. In response, Gray shoved the officer with his hands.

            A few minutes later, at 3:01 p.m., body-worn camera footage captured images of Gray as he and other rioters pushed the police line to the edge of a marble staircase. Gray shoved an officer, making contact with the officer’s baton and knocking the officer off balance. The officer fell down the marble staircase and, as a result, suffered a concussion and chronic back pain.

            Gray and other rioters continued to press against the police line until additional officers steered the mob out of the east side of the Capitol building at 3:12 p.m.

            Gray later posted a four-minute video to his Instagram account boasting about his actions during the events of January 6th. In that clip, Gray bragged: “We start pushing the police out the back of the Capitol; we pushed them from the front to the back of the Capitol.” He described how the rioters arrived at the staircase and started “pushing them [the police] down the staircase.” That evening, he wrote, “Dude we literally took Congress over. I don’t wanna say too much more lol was the rowdiest thing I’ve ever done and you know me lol.” In social media messages Gray sent after Jan. 6, he further boasted, “Lol I was one of the first in the capital.”

            The FBI arrested Gray on May 18, 2021, in Jacksonville, Florida.

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted this case. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

            The FBI’s Jacksonville and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. The U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

            In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Originally published at https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/florida-man-sentenced-prison-assault-police-officer-and-obstructing-law-enforcement

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