Florida man gets 8 months in prison for first felony conviction from Capitol riot

A Florida man who was seen carrying a large red “Trump 2020” flag on the floor of the US Senate during the Capitol riots was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for the first offense since the January 6 attack.

Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, was arrested on February 16 after the FBI received a tip that identified one of hundreds of people seen in photos and videos inside the Capitol. He convicted in June For the single felony of obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Judge Randolph Moss of the US District Court in Washington said, “Although you were only one member of a large crowd, you actively participated in a large event that threatened the Capitol and democracy.”

Paul Allard Hodgkins waves a large red “Trump 2020” flag inside the Senate chamber during the Capitol riots on January 6.FBI

“The damage done this way went beyond a delay of several hours in vote authentication,” Moss said. “It is a loss that will last for many decades in this country.”

Hodgkins’ attorney, Patrick Leduc, urged the judge not to serve a prison sentence, saying that Hodgkins is “law-abiding, hardworking, honest, caring, kind, considerate, generous and the kind of person.” For whom you want. A neighbor.” On the day of the riot, he “lost his demeanor and his way … made a fatal decision follow the crowd, and found himself at a place for about 15 minutes for which he sincerely regrets,” the court said in the filing.

Hodgkins told the judge that he regretted his actions and would not have entered the Capitol if he had known about the violent activities inside.

“I can say without a doubt that I am truly sorry and sorry for my actions, not because I have to face the consequences, but because of the loss caused by the incident of that day and the way this country I love He has been hurt,” he said. .

Although he emphasized that he did not engage in any violence or damage any property, “I realize that my involvement still contributed to a bigger problem. Our company, which remained calm in our protests, did not.” Others may have felt excited.”

But prosecutors asked for an 18-month prison sentence. Once he went inside and saw the devastation, he could have left, said Mona Sedaki, an assistant US attorney. “He voluntarily joined the fray, and he continued to be a part of it.”

Sedaki said Hodgkins’ goal in entering the Capitol was “to disrupt the election process and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”

Imposing a sentence that includes some jail time “will send a loud and clear message to other rioters that if they are caught, they will face a severe punishment. So there will be no next time,” he said.

Hodgkins is the third person to be sentenced for being part of the Capitol siege, and his longest sentence to date.

an Indiana woman, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, was given three years’ probation in June after pleading guilty to a charge of illegally performing at the Capitol. and Michael Curzio Florida’s pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to six months in prison. But since the judge credited him for the time he was held in custody pending trial, he was released on 14 July.

Leave a Reply