Ray Epps Dodges Prison Sentence - Gets Probation, Community Service For Telling J6ers To Go "Into The Capitol"

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jan 10, 2024 - 10:44 AM

Ray Epps, the man caught multiple times telling January 6th protesters to escalate their demonstration and go "into the Capitol" on January 6th, 2021, will spend no time in prison for his role that day.

Instead, Epps has been given 12 months probation, $500 in restitution, and 100 hours of community service.

According to Epps' sentencing memorandum, Epps should have served 6 months in jail.

"Although Epps engaged in felonious conduct during the riot on January 6, his case includes a variety of distinctive and compelling mitigating factors, which led the government to exercise its prosecutorial discretion and offer Epps a pre-indictment misdemeanor plea resolution," wrote DOJ senior trial counsel Michael Gordon in the sentencing memo. 

Epps' attorney, Edward Ungvarsky, argued that Epps should serve no jail time, and that "right-wing political dramaturges" resulted in Epps being "attacked, defamed, and vilified."

According to the sentencing memorandum, Gordon asserted that Epps "has been the target of a false and widespread conspiracy theory that he was an undercover government agent on January 6."

Other mitigating factors included Epps calling the FBI on Jan. 8, 2021 to explain his actions two days prior. Further, Gordon listed his cooperation with both the FBI and the now-defunct House Jan. 6 Select Committee (which lost video evidence of their witness interviews), and what the DOJ describes as his efforts to de-escalate tensions between protesters and the police.

"Epps only acted in furtherance of his own misguided belief in the 'lie' that the 2020 presidential election had been 'stolen,'" reads the memorandum. "However, due to the outrage directed at Epps as a result of that false conspiracy theory, he has been forced to sell his business, move to a different state, and live reclusively."

As the Epoch Times reports further, Epps' photo was removed from the FBI's Jan. 6 most-wanted page without explanation.

On Sept. 18, 2023, prosecutors charged Mr. Epps with one count of disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, a petty misdemeanor with a maximum six-month jail term.

On Sept. 21, 2023, Mr. Epps pleaded guilty to the charge. In mere days, the high-profile case was dispatched, a stark contrast to many Jan. 6 prosecutions that have stretched across nearly three years.

Sentencing in the case had been scheduled for Dec. 20, 2023, but Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted a continuance until 10 a.m. Jan. 9 at the federal courthouse in Washington D.C.

In his sentencing memo, Mr. Ungvarsky said Mr. Epps’ intention all along was for peaceful protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Ray Epps understands the serious mistake he made when he joined others to attend the Stop the Steal Rally on January 6, 2021, and to encourage others to walk to the U.S. Capitol to continue to protest,” Mr. Ungvarsky wrote.

“At all times, Mr. Epps’ intent was that the protest would be peaceful and would be done peacefully,” Mr. Ungvarsky said. “Those were his words on January 5, and that was his intent on January 6.”

Late on Jan. 2, Mr. Ungvarsky filed a motion asking to shield under court seal the identifying information of persons mentioned in Mr. Epps’ forthcoming sentencing exhibits.

“For safety concerns, counsel has redacted the names and identifying information of persons who authored or are discussed in exhibits of sentencing letters and memoranda,” Mr. Ungvarsky wrote. “Documented prior harassment and threats provide a specific basis for this request in this case.”