70-Year-Old Colorado Man Sentenced to Prison for Obstructing Police on Jan. 6

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
May 18, 2024US News
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70-Year-Old Colorado Man Sentenced to Prison for Obstructing Police on Jan. 6
Police try to hold back protesters on the West Plaza of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

A 70-year-old Colorado man has been sentenced to over one year in prison for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, which involved grabbing a police officer’s arm and uniform and tussling briefly with a second officer before pushing past a police line.

Avery MacCracken, of Telluride, was on May 16 sentenced to 12 months and one day behind bars, along with 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 restitution for his role during the Jan. 6 Capitol incident, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Mr. MacCracken pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, 2023, to a single felony charge of obstructing law enforcement officers when he was part of a large group of people who pushed forward through a police line and entered restricted areas of the Capitol grounds.

Court documents show that Mr. MacCracken traveled to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election amid former President Donald Trump’s allegations of a stolen election. At around 2 p.m. on the day of the incident, he joined a large group of people who were in a restricted area on the West Plaza of the Capitol.

At around 2:23 p.m., Mr. MacCracken advanced to the front of the group of demonstrators who were trying to break through a police line on the West Front of the Capitol, per the DOJ.

“MacCracken stated to one of the officers, ‘You should be on our side, taking these sons of [expletive] out,’” the DOJ said in a statement.

As other demonstrators battled with police, Mr. MacCracken moved to an area where others had already pulled the metal barricades away.

“With two hands balled into fists, he advanced toward a police officer and raised one fist as if to strike. The officer deflected the attack, but MacCracken grabbed another officer’s arm and uniform, tussling briefly with the second officer before moving past,” the DOJ said.

As the police lines on the Upper West Plaza caved to the advancing demonstrators, Mr. MacCracken continued to advance towards the Capitol building, eventually climbing to the top of the inauguration bleachers and joining other demonstrators who were resisting police efforts to clear them from the area.

“MacCracken faced the police and refused to leave until he was physically pushed off a platform by the police,” the DOJ said. “Despite tear gas, flash bangs, and police efforts to dissipate the crowd, MacCracken participated in the riot on the West Front until approximately 5:00 p.m., when the police finally cleared the area.”

Mr. MacCracken was arrested by the FBI on Dec. 11, 2021.

His attorney was not immediately available for comment on the prison sentence.

‘Treated Terribly’

Over 1,424 people have been charged with various crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing to felonies such as seditious conspiracy and assaulting police officers.

Roughly 800 of them have been sentenced to date, with nearly two-thirds receiving some time in prison. Over 500 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony.

The longest prison sentence—22 years—was handed down to Enrique Tarrio, the former Proud Boys national chairman who was convicted of seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors alleged was a conspiracy to stop the transfer of power from President Trump to President-elect Joe Biden during the Jan. 6 certification of electoral votes.

Dozens of Jan. 6 detainees are still languishing in jail awaiting trial over three years after the Capitol incident.

President Trump has made the alleged mistreatment of Jan. 6 defendants a cornerstone of his reelection campaign, vowing to use executive power to issue pardons and free Jan. 6 “hostages” soon after taking office, if elected.

“They’ve been treated terribly and very unfairly,” President Trump said at a March 16 rally in Dayton, Ohio. “And we’re going to be working on that soon, on the first day we get into office,” he continued, while calling the Jan. 6 detainees “unbelievable patriots.”

NTD Photo
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Rochester Opera House in Rochester, N.H., on Jan. 21, 2024. (Gary Du/The Epoch Times)

President Biden has been sharply critical of President Trump’s statements about the Jan. 6 defendants, while Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to press ahead with more Jan. 6 prosecutions.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the Justice Department’s controversial use of a law that was originally intended for evidence tampering cases only against Jan. 6 defendants—as well as against President Trump.

A Supreme Court decision rejecting the use of 18 U.S. Code Section 1512(c)(2), or “Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant,”  in Jan. 6 cases could have major implications for a number of defendants.

The reason it could have major implications is because  Section 1512 is the most widely charged felony in Jan. 6 cases, and the mere fact that the high court decided to hear the case has already led some defendants to be released pending final Supreme Court decision or they have had their sentencing postponed until the matter is resolved.

From The Epoch Times

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