Ray Epps, a 62-year-old former member of the Oath Keepers, has been sentenced to a year of probation following his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach.
In a decision that diverged from the prosecution’s recommendation of a six-month prison term, Epps was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and pay $500 in restitution.
Epps, who became a controversial figure in the aftermath of the Capitol incident, had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds as part of a plea deal with the Justice Department. His legal team successfully argued for a probation sentence, emphasizing his remorse, acceptance of responsibility, and the lifelong impact of his criminal conviction.
Epps gained notoriety early in the investigation due to his visible role in the events leading up to the Capitol breach. He was captured in multiple videos encouraging Trump supporters to enter the Capitol building and was seen repeating this call to action several times, urging the public to “go into the Capitol.”
“I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol,” Epps can be seen saying in one of the videos, prompting backlash from other protesters who call him a “fed.”
One of Epps’ text messages, in which he claimed to have “orchestrated” the riot, further intensified the scrutiny around him.
BREAKING: Ray Epps, the only January 6 protester who actually told people to go into the Capitol, has been officially sentenced to one year probation, $500 restitution, and 100 hours community service.
While many J6 protesters are rotting in jail for non-violent crimes, Epps… pic.twitter.com/qPWwktAPbu
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 9, 2024
Initially, Epps was included in the FBI’s wanted list for his involvement in the January 6 events, but his subsequent removal from the list led to widespread speculation about his possible connections with federal authorities. It was not until September that he entered a plea agreement with the Department of Justice.
The sentence handed down to Epps — probation, community service, and a fine — reflects the complex and varied legal outcomes for individuals involved in the January 6 Capitol breach.