New Jersey Man Found Guilty by Jury of Charges for Actions Related to Capitol Breach
Defendant, an Army Reservist, Used Tactical Hand Signals and Commands as He and Other Rioters Entered the Building
(STL.News) An Army reservist from New Jersey was found guilty today by a federal jury of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, was found guilty of a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, and four related misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building. The verdict followed a trial in the District of Columbia.
According to the government’s evidence, Hale-Cusanelli drove to Washington on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. He joined a mob of rioters that illegally breached a police line attempting to secure the Capitol grounds. He commanded other rioters to “advance” on the Capitol, a command he continued once inside.
Hale-Cusanelli was among the first rioters to enter the Capitol Building, moving inside shortly after the breach that took place at 2:12 p.m. at the Senate Wing Door. He made harassing and derogatory statements toward Capitol Police officers, saying that a “revolution” was coming. He remained in the building for approximately 40 minutes. Days after the incident, Hale-Cusanelli told a friend that being in the Capitol was “exhilarating,” he was hoping for a “civil war,” and that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
At the time of the Capitol breach, Hale-Cusanelli was enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. Hale-Cusanelli worked as a contractor at a naval weapons station, where he had a “secret” security clearance, and has since been barred from the facility.
Hale-Cusanelli was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021. He has been detained ever since. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 16, 2022. The felony obstruction charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. Two of the misdemeanors each carry a statutory maximum of one year, and the other two each carry a statutory maximum of six months. The charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
The case is being investigated by the Northeast Field Office of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and FBI’s Newark and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 16 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.