COURTS & LEGAL

Utah man sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for his role in Jan. 6 US Capitol riot

Apr 29, 2024, 4:51 PM | Updated: Apr 30, 2024, 11:36 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A Sandy man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

John Earle Sullivan, 29, was also sentenced on Friday to three years of supervised release following his prison term and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

Sullivan was convicted in November by a District of Columbia federal jury for several crimes, including obstructing an official proceeding, obstructing officers during a civil disorder and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds.

Sullivan, who was “fitted with a ballistic vest, gas mask and bull horn, joined rioters storming the U.S. Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Utah man, who is the founder of Insurgence USA, a group that calls itself anti-fascist and protests police brutality, filmed his participation in the riot.

“Sullivan used various digital platforms and personas to present himself as an activist. However, on these platforms, Sullivan made his true objectives clear: to cause pure chaos and disruption to the status quo. Sullivan alternated between advertising legitimate protests and broadcasting violent anti-establishment rhetoric,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Sullivan had a bullhorn and could be heard encouraging the rioters and making statements such as, “Let’s burn this … down,” according to prosecutors. Once inside the Capitol, he continued to provoke the crowd with statements such as, “We gotta get this … burned,” and ignored commands of officers to leave, instead telling the officers “to stand down so they would not get hurt.”

Outside the main doors to the House of Representatives, Sullivan told the crowd he had a knife.

“After unsuccessful attempts to access the House floor, the crowd, including Sullivan, made their way to the Speaker’s Lobby, where the evacuation of the House floor was actively underway. Sullivan, once again telling the mob he had a knife, positioned himself at the front of the Speaker’s Lobby crowd as the crowd began to break the doors’ glass windows. Sullivan encouraged those attempting to break the windows to ‘Go, go. Let’s go,'” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sullivan was arrested in Salt Lake City about a week later, on Jan. 14, 2021. Prosecutors say as early as 2020 “Sullivan began advocating for a violent government dismantling.” He stated in one of his posts on Instagram: “We will have live updates on the location for tonight’s purge. Spread the message. Let the electoral purge commence,” according to federal prosecutors.

Based on that and other social media posts, Sullivan “made it clear he knew the significance of what would be occurring that day — both the certification and the rally,” the attorney’s office said. Sullivan made and posted a video explaining the details of the certification process for the 2020 presidential election.

Sullivan said he also witnessed the shooting death of protester Ashli Babbitt, and the Twitter account for Insurgence USA retweeted video showing the shooting and aftermath. Investigators confiscated roughly $90,000 from him after he sold the footage to several news outlets.

In the summer of 2020, Sullivan was charged with riot and criminal mischief, class B misdemeanors, after allegedly participating in a protest in Provo during which two handguns were brandished and two shots were fired toward a motorist. Court documents accused Sullivan of damaging vehicles, blocking roadways, threatening to beat a woman and kicking the door of her SUV. Those charges, however, were dismissed on March 1, 2023, “for lack of jurisdiction.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Courts & Legal

Richins and her legal team in the courtroom....

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Kouri Richins’ attorneys ask to withdraw from representing her in murder case

Attorneys for Kouri Richins requested to withdraw as her defense counsel and asked a judge to appoint new defense attorneys on Friday.

9 hours ago

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 9: Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) holds his notes as he speaks during a news confere...

Rio Yamat, Associated Press

An Arizona judge helped revive an 1864 abortion law. His lawmaker wife joined Democrats to repeal it

Lawmaker Shawnna Bolick, wife of Republican Arizona judge, joined Democrats to repeal an 1864 abortion law.

15 hours ago

Kouri Richins talks with her lawyers in court....

Devin Oldroyd, KSL NewsRadio

Kouri Richins defense team asks for prosecution to be dismissed

Kouri Richins’ defense team is asking that the prosecution be dismissed, alleging that prosecutors violated her Sixth Amendment rights.

1 day ago

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gil reviews body camera video from the shooting of Alex Stew...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Officers legally justified in shooting of armed military veteran suffering mental health crisis

Two Taylorsville police officers who shot a military veteran suffering a mental health crisis, were legally justified in using deadly force, the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office announced Friday.

1 day ago

Photo of Nile Thacker, a tiny tim's toymaker killed in a crash earlier this year....

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Jury finds man guilty of fatal DUI crash that killed toymaker

A man was convicted on Friday of causing a crash that killed a volunteer toymaker while driving under the influence.

1 day ago

...

Lauren Steinbrecher and Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Cold Case Cracked: Suspect charged 28 years after West Valley mother’s murder

A huge case break was announced Thursday in a horrific crime that became a total mystery in the West Valley City community, for nearly 30 years. 

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah man sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for his role in Jan. 6 US Capitol riot