WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, a former U.S. Marine and Florida police officer pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering and remaining inside a restricted building. This was in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack.
Nicholes Lentz was previously an officer in North Miami Beach. He was charged one year ago.
On Tuesday, Lentz, 42 years old, informed Judge Randolph D. Moss that he joined the Marine Corps after completing high school. Many military veterans and retired law enforcement officers took part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. They believed that former President Donald Trump was lying about 2020's election.
Lentz agreed to a virtual court hearing Tuesday that the Justice Department could prove that Lentz traveled from Florida for former Trump's rally, and that he unlawfully entered both the Capitol building and the Capitol grounds. Lentz also admitted to posting a video that he had filmed inside Capitol to Facebook.
"America has spoken. It is impossible to stop millions of people. It is impossible to stop. Can't. It's impossible. America has a voice. Lentz stated in the video that we give them power. Lentz claimed that he loved his "boys" in blue, but that there was no way that they could hold him back.
Although the government had agreed to a plea agreement, it was not permitted to seek an enhancement for terrorism sentencing. The government argued that Lentz's conduct was intended to influence government actions. However, the Justice Department has not requested that enhancement in any other Capitol cases that involved violent conduct.
Lentz stated to the judge that he would plead guilty to the charges and put the matter behind him. Moss accepted the guilty plea.
In Jan. 6 related cases, the FBI has already arrested over 740 people. More than 200 have pleaded guilty. There are many more cases. More than 2500 people entered the Capitol Building or engaged in unlawful and criminal conduct outside of the building.
On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Capitol defendant Jeffrey Alexander Smith should be sentenced to 90 days imprisonment. The government had argued that Smith should be sentenced to five years imprisonment. Smith was able to reopen the Capitol's east side doors, which allowed the mob to flood in.
Smith said Tuesday, echoing many Trump supporters' words, that he had "just got caught in the moment" Jan. 6.
Smith stated to the judge, "I don’t consider myself a patriot at this moment at all."