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Utah man pleads guilty to felony assault charge from Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Aug 25, 2023, 10:58 AM

Body camera footage that investigators say is Justin Dee Adams of West Jordan, Utah, involved in th...

Body camera footage that investigators say is Justin Dee Adams of West Jordan, Utah, involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. (US District Court)

(US District Court)

WASHINGTON — A West Jordan gun shop owner has pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Justin Dee Adams, 49, was arrested by FBI agents in Utah on Oct. 19, 2022. He pleaded guilty in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to one count of assaulting, resisting, and impeding certain officers and will be sentenced on Dec. 8.

According to court documents, Adams traveled to Washington to protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote and posted a photo showing him and the two men traveling with him with text that said he was “starting the road trip” and “driving out to DC to smack a couple politicians around … maybe.”

A press release from the Department of Justice said Adams attended then-President Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse before marching to the Capitol, where he joined a mob on the Upper West Plaza. There, several of Adams’ actions were captured on body-worn cameras.

Prosecutors say Adams confronted the police line defending the building when he made physical contact with officers. He was pushed back and then charged at the line, attacking Metropolitan Police Department officers. Court documents said police pushed Adams back again and he yelled and aggressively gestured at police officers “while other rioters attempted to hold him back.”

Adams also struck an MPD officer, who was wearing a helmet, twice in the head.

A few minutes later, Adams was captured on body-worn cameras removing a bicycle rack that officers used as a barricade to stop rioters from advancing further into restricted areas. An officer tried to stop Adams from taking the rack, and Adams threw a plastic bottle at him before pulling the rack away with another rioter.

Adams later wrote of his actions that day: “We safely made it out of Washington DC before the lockdown, and before the gunfire of the capitol police. Got a little roughed up but the politicians are no longer meeting the standards We the People require our elected officials to meet. Great times are coming, but difficulty will be required before.”

The Department of Justice said more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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Utah man pleads guilty to felony assault charge from Jan. 6 Capitol riot