Federal Prosecutors Seek Six Months Jail Time For Ray Epps

(Screenshot/Greg Price/Twitter)

James Lynch Contributor
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Federal prosecutors are seeking six months of jail time for Ray Epps, a man who appeared to encourage demonstrators to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia submitted a sentencing memo Tuesday, recommending six months of incarceration for Epps because of his alleged participation in the Jan. 6th Capitol riot. (RELATED: Speaker Johnson Releases January 6th Capitol Riot Tapes)


“For the reasons set forth herein, the government requests that this Court sentence Defendant James Ray Epps, Sr. to six months’ incarceration, which is the high end of the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range of zero to six months,” the memo reads.

Prosecutors argue a six month sentence for Epps is justified because of his alleged efforts on Jan. 5, 2021 and the following day to inspire rioters and his presence among the rioters who overwhelmed Capitol police.

In addition, the DOJ cites his “presence and general assistance with pushing a large metal-framed sign into a group of police officers holding a defensive line; and (4) participation in a rugby scrum-like group effort to push past the same line of police officers.”

“This is a unique case in the context of January 6 defendants. Although Epps engaged in felonious conduct during the riot on January 6, his case includes a variety of distinctive and compelling mitigating factors, which led the government to exercise its prosecutorial discretion and offer Epps a pre-indictment misdemeanor plea resolution,” the sentencing memo adds.

Prosecutors offered Epps a misdemeanor plea deal for cooperating with federal authorities and expressing remorse for his actions.

They also cite widespread speculation Epps was an undercover federal agent based on footage of him on Jan. 5 appearing to fire up demonstrators and instructing them to go inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Epps hadn’t been indicted for over two years following the Capitol attack.

The sentencing memo’s background information section contains a screenshot of the livestream footage and Epps’ statement appearing to encourage a crowd of people to go inside the Capitol the following day.

“We’re far beyond that. In fact, tomorrow—I don’t even like to say it because I’ll be arrested—we need to go IN to the Capitol. We’re here to defend the Constitution. [. . .] I’m going to put this out there. I’m probably going to jail for it. Tomorrow, we need to go IN to the Capitol. IN to the Capitol. Peacefully,” Epps said in a video recorded by another Jan. 6th defendant.

He was recorded Jan. 6th telling multiple protestors to go into the Capitol and left in the middle of a speech given by former President Donald Trump to walk towards the Capitol building, the sentencing memo says.

In a defamation lawsuit against Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson, Epps said the DOJ notified him in May he would be charged and blamed Fox News for the DOJ’s decision.

More than 1,200 Jan. 6th defendants have been charged in nearly three years since the Capitol riot took place, according to a DOJ portal.

Roughly 700 individuals have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including approximately 500 misdemeanor guilty pleas.