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Man who helped drag officer into crowd on Jan. 6 sentenced to prison

A Colorado man charged for helping drag a law enforcement officer into a crowd during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was sentenced to more than five years in prison Thursday, according to prosecutors.

On top of the sentence, Jeffrey Sabol, 53, was also given three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $32,000 in restitution, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He has been convicted of three felony charges including obstruction of an official proceeding in relation to his conduct during the Jan. 6 riot.

Sabol traveled from Colorado to Washington, D.C., to watch former President Trump speak at his “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse on the day of the Jan. 6 riot, according to court documents. He traveled with fellow members of a “self-described ‘neighborhood watch’ group.”

“Before leaving, the group members discussed what to bring with them,” the press release said. “On the advice of one group member, Sabol packed a helmet, a trauma kit, a buck knife, and zip ties.”

Following the rally, he made his way to the Capitol and joined the riot, the release said. At one point, he “assisted two rioters in dragging a law enforcement officer down the steps and into” a mob, where “rioters beat the officer with a flagpole and a baton.”

Later, Sabol “deleted text messages and other communications from his cell phone,” prosecutors wrote.

He also tried to flee the U.S. and booked a flight to Switzerland, but could not board the aircraft and “rented a car and drove toward Westchester, New York, where the FBI arrested him on Jan. 11, 2021,” according to the documents.

Sabol acknowledged during his hearing that he is “100 percent” guilty and said he would have apologized to the officers if they had been present, according to The Associated Press.

“I accept whatever it is you hand me,” Sabol told the judge, per the AP. “I’ll be honest: I deserve it.”

More than 1,300 individuals have been charged with federal crimes related to the insurrection, according to the release. Of those charged, more than 800 have been sentenced.

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