Moorhead man gets home arrest for part in Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol
Prosecutors asked for 45 days behind bars for Jordan Stotts, but a federal judge sentenced him to 60 days of home confinement and 60 hours of community service.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Moorhead, Minnesota, man was sentenced to home arrest and community service for storming with rioters into the U.S. Capitol as Congress finalized the 2020 presidential election results.
In Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 9, Federal Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Jordan Kenneth Stotts, 32, to 60 days of home confinement and two years of probation for his part in the Jan. 6 riots. He also must perform 60 hours of community service, prosecutors said.
Stotts previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Three other charges were dismissed.
The Moorhead resident was among thousands of demonstrators who rallied in D.C. as Congress met Jan. 6 to confirm the Electoral College results. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, gained 306 of the electoral votes, surpassing the 270 threshold. Former President Donald Trump grabbed 232.
Overall, more than 81 million people voted for Biden, giving him 7 million ballots over his Republican opponent.
Trump refused to concede and called upon supporters to rally in D.C. to urge Congress to overturn the election results. Around 2 p.m. on Jan. 6, hundreds of rioters rushed the Capitol building, attacking officers and breaking windows as they made their way to the Senate and House chambers.
Stotts, who traveled from Arizona to D.C. to participate in the rally, was seen in an Associated Press photo climbing the balcony before he entered the Capitol, according to court documents. Once inside, he “paraded and demonstrated” inside the Rotunda for about an hour, at one point recording video while celebrating with other rioters, court documents said.
Body camera footage showed Stotts confronting an officer while singing parts of "The Star-Spangled Banner," prosecutors wrote in a brief. Officers pushed him back three times before he said, “We’re here to take back our country for y'all! All of us! All Americans! We’re on the same team! Same team!”
Stotts later posted on Facebook about breaking into the Capitol to “strike fear into the sold out Congress," federal court documents said.
"They work for us and have no right telling us what we can and can’t do!" Stotts said in one post. "I’m sick of it and so are the Patriots! With God on our side we will prevail!"
Congressmembers evacuated the chambers around 2:20 p.m. and didn’t return until about 8 p.m. to finalize the Electoral College results. Biden took office Jan. 20.
Prosecutors recommended Stotts serve 45 days for his part in the Jan. 6 attacks, noting he boasted on Facebook about the “siege” and said, “I’ll be back.” That indicated he lacked remorse and may engage in similar unlawful conduct in the future, prosecutors said in a briefing.
Stotts did not strike any officers, nor did he destroy property, prosecutors acknowledged.
Stotts has a landscaping business and travels around the country in the offseason, his attorney wrote in a briefing arguing for home confinement instead of jail time. When Stotts heard the call from Trump to rally in D.C., he decided to travel there to express his political views, the defense argued.
The Trump supporter wishes he hadn’t gone to the Capitol grounds and is "very remorseful" for his actions, the defense said in court documents.
“He was here to attend the rally, hear the speeches and make his voice heard,” the defense said. “He had no intention of engaging in, or in any way, encouraging violent behavior.”
Stotts was disappointed in himself for getting “caught up in the emotions of the day” and appearing to celebrate later, but he turned himself in days after the riots, the defense said in its briefing.
“Mr. Stotts made, and makes, no excuses for having entered the Capitol building,” the defense wrote. “He stood ready then and stands ready now to accept the consequences for his behavior.”
He faced up to six months behind bars for that charge.
More than 650 people have been arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 riots, and more than 90 have pleaded guilty in their cases, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. At least 12 have been sentenced.