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Federal prosecutors recommend jail time for NC man connected to US Capitol riot

Anthony Scirica has already pleaded guilty to his involvement in the deadly insurrection. He now waits for sentencing in federal court.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia want a Winston-Salem man to spend time in federal prison for his involvement in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

According to documents filed in district court Thursday, federal prosecutors recommended Anthony Scirica be sentenced to 15 days in prison and that he pay $500 in restitution.

Scirica pleaded guilty last fall to parading, demonstrating, and picketing in the capitol building. That charge carries a maximum six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Hundreds of Americans have been charged for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot. A fraction have been sentenced. Of those sentenced by federal judges, few have been sentenced to jail time.

In the 24-page sentencing recommendation from federal prosecutors, Scirica's actions on Jan. 6 were outlined in detail. Prosecutors called for a harsher penalty based on these three reasons:

  • Scirica "did not merely follow others once inside the Capitol Building, he led rioters through Statuary Hall in the direction of the House Chamber"
  • Scirica observed violence as rioters pushed against police officers 
  • Scirica remained inside the Capitol while alarms went off and he observed further violence
  • Scirica showed no remorse for his conduct

During an interview with an FBI agent after the attack, prosecutors said Scirica was asked if looking back at the incident, he wished he had remained outside the Capitol.

"Scirica responded in a flat tone, 'I don't know. I'm not really sure. It might make a good story in like 50 years when I am a grandfather.'"

Prosecutors wrote Scirica's "brazen conduct merits a short term of incarceration."

In the sentencing recommendation, federal prosecutors submitted cell phone video, surveillance still images, and other pictures showing Scirica's conduct.

Credit: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

In the above picture, prosecutors wrote Scirica was one of the first individuals to walk inside the Capitol during the attack. In a later interview with the FBI, Scirica said he went inside "to see it for himself and see what was happening with his own eyes."

According to prosecutors, they believe imprisonment for Scirica is warranted in order to deter him from future violence.

"...it is important to convey to future potential rioters-especially those who intent to improperly influence the democratic process-that their actions will have consequences," wrote the federal prosecutors.

Scirica will be sentenced in D.C. district court on Jan. 20.