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Judge sentences Little River man for his role in deadly riots at U.S. Capitol

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (WMBF/AP) – A Little River man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to taking part in the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Nicholas Languerand, 26, pleaded guilty in November to assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced on Wednesday to 44 months in prison on that charge. In addition, the judge ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution. He must also serve two years of supervised release once he completes his prison term. He was also ordered to perform 60 hours of community service.

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Languerand called himself a patriot, but the judge who sentenced him said the rioters who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, don’t deserve that description.

“The patriots were the police officers who were defending the Capitol building and our democratic values,” U.S. District Judge John Bates said before handing down one of the longest prison sentences for a Capitol rioter so far.

Languerand also told the judge that he was a QAnon follower. The conspiracy theory centers on the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump was waging a secret fight against a Satan-worshipping, child-sacrificing cabal of “deepstate” foes, prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites.

He was arrested on April 15 in Little River after a tip led them to an Instagram post that showed him at the Capitol grounds at the time of the riots.

Documents from federal investigators provided pictures showing Languerand throwing objects at officers, including an orange traffic barrier and two stick-like objects at officers as they protected the Lower West Terrance entrance of the U.S. Capitol.

An FBI special agent investigating the case found images and videos of Nicholas Languerand...
An FBI special agent investigating the case found images and videos of Nicholas Languerand throwing objects at law enforcement officers at the U.S. Capitol.((Source: FBI))

Authorities also said Languerand took possession of a police riot shield, hit it against the ground and then held it in front of him as he confronted police.

“It was never meant to be something violent,” said Languerand.

But the assistant U.S. attorney said that Languerand later bragged about his actions on social media.

“The defendant was not caught up in the violence. He sought it out,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Juman said.

Federal authorities explicitly have linked more than 30 riot defendants to QAnon, according to an Associated Press review of court records. The true number of rioters influenced by the conspiracy theory is likely much higher, as QAnon has been embraced and promoted by influential Trump supporters.

“Things did not go how I expected them to go,” Languerand said. “There were people that had told me that things were going to happen in a certain way, and then they didn’t happen. At that point, I began to realize that some of these people may have not been telling me the truth.”

Thousands of people stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was in the process of counting the electoral votes that would name Joe Biden as the next president.

Since that time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia says 725 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the insurrection. Over 225 people have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer.

The investigation into the deadly insurrection remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Copyright 2022 WMBF/Associated Press. All rights reserved.