Federal prosecutors have new information on a Jan. 6 defendant. Online sleuths attribute it to a Times video
Federal prosecutors are revising a plea deal for a Georgia man present at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, citing new information that online sleuths attribute to video recently released by the Los Angeles Times.
Glen Simon pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building — and faced up to six months imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. But in early January, prosecutors asked the court to delay his sentencing, saying they had discovered new information that warranted further investigation.
Department of Justice lawyers announced in a court filing Tuesday that they had offered Simon a new deal in which he would plead guilty to the more significant misdemeanor of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a fine.
Federal law changes the charge to a felony with a maximum punishment of up to 10 years in prison if it is determined a deadly weapon was used or serious harm was caused. The court documents do not reference any weapon.
Prosecutors asked that Simon be given until mid-March to accept or reject the deal, according to their filing. They also requested Simon’s upcoming sentencing hearing be converted into a case status hearing.
Simon’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors did not specify the new information, nor its source, in their Jan. 8 request to delay sentencing. A group of online sleuths working to identify people who were at the Capitol during the attack had posted several days before on Twitter that they found evidence in a Times video of Simon clashing with police outside the building.
The 28-minute video was released for the first time to mark the one-year anniversary of the insurrection attempt.
Times photographer Kent Nishimura captured the video while in the crowd Jan. 6, 2021, using a helmet- mounted GoPro camera.
On Jan. 5, the group, which calls itself @capitolhunters, posted several clips pulled from the Times video.
The clips appear to show a person dressed like Simon among a group using a police barricade to push back Capitol Police officers on the building’s West Front shortly after the Capitol had first been breached. Some of the worst injuries to police that day occurred during the hours-long melee in the West Front plaza.
Simon was quickly identified by online sleuths in 2021, who found video he posted on Facebook of himself inside the Capitol wearing the same clothing as the person identified in the Times video.
He also posted an image of himself outside the Capitol with the caption, “feel like I took about 50 bong rips of pepper spray today. Post victory picture after the ramming through of the Capitol building,” according to the initial complaint. Court filings include photos of him walking around inside the Capitol.
More than 725 people have been arrested for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 225 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. More than 165 have pleaded guilty to federal charges.
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