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Idahoan pleads guilty to U.S. Capitol riot charge. Here’s his possible punishment

Idaho

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – The first Idahoan charged in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot has pleaded guilty.

Josiah Colt, a Treasure Valley resident, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding. The hearing in a Washington, D.C., federal court took place virtually, with Colt and his attorney appearing from Idaho.

Judge Thomas Hogan said Colt’s estimated advisory guidelines allow for a potential prison sentence between 51 and 63 months. However, Colt and his attorney could argue for less prison time at his sentencing hearing once that date is set.

Included in the plea deal is a cooperation agreement, meaning Colt will be expected to fully cooperate with federal investigators and law enforcement as they proceed against other people charged in the riot. This is noteworthy because court records have linked Colt to two men arrested in Nevada over their alleged actions that day: Nathan DeGrave of Nevada and Ronald Sandlin of Tennessee.

RELATED | Idaho man who stormed Capitol, jumped onto U.S. Senate floor is in custody

In a video from Jan. 6, Colt told a camera crew from the BBC that “if violence happens, like it happens, but we’re not gonna start it.” Also featured in the video is Sandlin, who says that “freedom is paid for with blood.” Sandlin was later seen on video fighting with police and smoking marijuana inside the Capitol Rotunda, authorities said.

Hogan discussed the men’s events leading up to Jan. 6, including discussions of shipping guns to Sandlin’s home in Tennessee and soliciting money to pay for the trip to the Capitol.

Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, Colt was facing four charges: obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building.

RELATED | UPDATED: Boise man apologizes for storming Senate floor

Colt was the first Idaho resident to be arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, after he was photographed jumping onto the Senate Chamber floor. Colt also posted videos to social media after the Capitol riot saying he was inside. In one video, he claimed he jumped into the chamber to sit in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair, calling her a traitor. However, Colt was actually in the Senate chamber, and was instead sitting in then-Vice President Mike Pence’s seat.

Federal investigators found the videos Colt posted online, and those were noted in charging documents.

On Jan. 7, Colt issued a statement to KBOI apologizing for his actions. He later turned himself in to authorities at the Ada County Jail.

Colt is not in custody and will remain free until his sentencing. The next step in his case is a status hearing set for Oct. 18.

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