A Virginia man who destroyed media material on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty to two felonies on Friday. Prosecutors say Joshua Dillon Haynes sent several texts bragging about his role in the siege. So far, more than 900 people have pleaded guilty in connection with the riot. Something is loading.
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A Virginia man who bragged about destroying media equipment outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts related to the insurgency.
Joshua Dillon Haynes, 40, was initially charged with seven siege-related counts after his arrest in July 2021, including physical assault and violent entry. But as the government scrambles to prosecute the more than 900 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some rioters lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.
On Friday, Haynes pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing official process and one count of destroying property. Both counts carry a maximum sentence of 25 years, although Haynes’ plea agreement says he will likely face between 27 and 33 months in prison when sentenced in January.
Photographs from the scene show Haynes among a group of rioters who damaged tens of thousands of dollars worth of media equipment, including cameras, tripods and lights, prosecutors said. A member of the media who was forced to flee the encroaching crowd estimated that the destroyed equipment from his news agency alone was worth between $30,000 and $34,000, according to court documents.
In text messages to friends throughout the day, Haynes bragged about breaking “a lot of stuff” and kicking “fake news ass.”
“We attacked CNN reporters and fake news and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of their video and television equipment,” Haynes sent in text along with a photo of the pile, prosecutors said.
In a separate text that day, Haynes said he had seen himself in video reports from the scene before, but noted that he kept his face covered.
“I want to get arrested for trashing the nation’s capital [sic] and fake news,” he wrote, according to court documents.
Prosecutors said Haynes also helped two other rioters who removed an air conditioner from a window inside the Capitol and then dropped it to the ground.
Haynes admitted the acts in federal court on Friday, according to WUSA and Law & Crime.
A lawyer for Haynes did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.