A San Diego County man was found guilty by a jury in the District of Columbia for his part in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Erik Herrera, 34, of El Cajon, was convicted of felony obstruction of an official proceeding, and four misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Friday.
Herrera was part of the group of rioters who broke into the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 with the intent of disrupting up the electoral vote count to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
According to the government’s evidence, Herrera was among the rioters who illegally entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Among other places, he was in groups that entered the Capitol at the Senate Fire Door and the Senate Wing Door,” the DOJ said.
Herrera, a photographer, also posted a photograph of himself holding papers inside the Senate Parliamentarian’s office. Prosecutors note that he “was not in the Capitol as a credentialed journalist.”
On Jan. 7, 2021, he admitted on social media that, although he wore a press patch, it had not been issued by any media organization. “I don’t have a monopoly on press badges,” he wrote. “They’re on Amazon for like $8 … No special permission to buy.”
Herrera was one of two Southern California men arrested after being identified by people who likely knew them via Instagram, and who sent screenshots of their activities on January 6 to authorities, the Orange County Register reported. Herrera was arrested in August and the other man, David Antonia Ticas, 39, was arrested in September.
Herrera is scheduled to be sentenced on November 10. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties for the felony obstruction charge, and the four misdemeanor offenses hold a combined statutory maximum of three years of incarceration and potential financial penalties, according to the DOJ.
More than 860 people have been arrested in almost every state since Jan. 6, CBS News reports. Of the arrestees, more than 260 have been charged with “assaulting or impeding law enforcement.”
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