National Security

Three convicted in Jan. 6 Capitol riot tunnel attacks

Three men were found guilty on Tuesday of a range of charges including assaulting or aiding and abetting the assault of law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. 

A Justice Department release states that 25-year-old Patrick McCaughey III from Connecticut, 26-year-old Tristan Stevens from Florida and 63-year-old David Mehaffie from Ohio traveled to Washington, D.C., on the day of the riot and went to restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol. 

McCaughey and Stevens taunted officers, while Mehaffie urged on rioters who were hesitant to break through a perimeter. 

All three men broke through a police line on the west front and then scaled the southwest scaffolding and staircase. They came back together at a tunnel that was created by the inaugural platform structure, where President Biden’s inauguration would be held, on the lower west terrace of the Capitol. 

U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police officers guarded the entrance to the Capitol from the rioters for several hours. McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie directed other rioters on how to break into the building, using riot shields taken from Capitol Police and assaulting three officers, according to the release. 

Mehaffie yelled directions from an archway he hung from while McCaughey used a riot shield as a weapon and Stevens was involved in the brawl. 

All three defendants were arrested last year, McCaughey on Jan. 19, Stevens on Feb. 5 and Mehaffie on Aug. 12. 

McCaughey was found guilty of seven felonies and two misdemeanors, Stevens was found guilty of five felonies and four misdemeanors and Mehaffie was found guilty of two felonies and two misdemeanors. 

All three were found guilty of aiding or abetting or assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder. 

They will all be sentenced in January. 

The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden acquitted Stevens and Mehaffie of obstruction of a proceeding, ruling that the Justice Department only proved McCaughey was trying to stop Congress from counting the votes for Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. 

McFadden is the first federal judge in Washington to acquit those charged with Jan. 6-related crimes of felony charges.

Tags aiding and abetting assault Biden Capitol riot Jan. 6 insurrection
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