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Fort Mill man pleads guilty to his role in US Capitol riot

In a plea hearing Monday morning, Elliot Bishai told the magistrate he went inside the capitol and took pictures on statues during the attack.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former cadet and now current firefighter Elliot Bishai pleaded guilty to his involvement in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Bishai appeared in front of Magistrate Robin Meriweather in D.C. District Court Monday morning to enter a guilty plea to entering or remaining on restricted grounds. It carries a maximum one-year prison sentence.

Bishai and another cadet, Elias Irizarry, were arrested in 2021 after the FBI received a tip from a witness who positively identified Bishai and Irizarry from video and photos of the attack.

A photo showed Bishai, Irizarry with one other person inside the U.S. Capitol. The third person was later identified as Grayson Sherill. He was arrested on March 1.

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A second witness who spoke with the FBI recognized the pair from association with the Civil Air Patrol Unit and said their Snapchat accounts showed they were in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. 

In the plea hearing Monday, Magistrate Meriweather asked Bishai if he chanted and encouraged the crowd to go inside the capitol on Jan. 6. Bishai said he did.

Meriweather also asked Bishai if he took pictures with statues during his time inside the capitol building. Bishai said he did.

Credit: D.C. District Court
According to court documents, federal prosecutors said Elliot Bishai, in the right of the photo taking the picture, was inside the capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.

Above is a picture as part of the court documents connected to Bishai's case. The government claimed the picture shows Bishai, in the plaid shirt, taking a picture of another associate, whom they identified as Sherill, in front of the Dwight D. Eisenhower statue.

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Meriweather set Bishai's sentencing date to July 29. The maximum sentence for his offense is one year in prison and a $500 fine.

Bishai joins other North and South Carolina residents who have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the attack. 

Several others are awaiting their trials and court dates.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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