Joseph Hackett could receive a 20-year prison sentence for spending just 10 minutes at the U.S. Capitol grounds. The Florida man allegedly joined the January 6 riots and was indicted on May 28.
Paul Allard Hodgkins is the first person formally sentenced to spend eight months behind bars for allegedly entering the U.S. Congress, after about 100 protesters stormed the building. The fellow Floridian pleaded guilty to entering the building, taking a selfie, and leaving after spending 15 minutes in the Senate chamber.
According to Fox News, Hodgkins received a relatively ‘soft’ sentence because he made ‘sincere’ statements, had no criminal record, and did not organize the demonstration. He also received a lighter punishment for testifying before the jury that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States.
This sentence serves as a barometer to define the fate of more than 400 individuals still in detention for allegedly participating in the riots.
Hackett’s case and evidence
According to Justice Department documents, Hackett and others are charged with conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, destroying government property, and unlawful entry into a restricted building.
A department report charges Hackett with planning and participating in an “operation to interfere with the certification of the electoral college vote.”
The accused achieved this through “coordinating in advance with others, and using websites and social media to recruit participants.” He also allegedly traveled to Washington with “paramilitary gear and supplies, including firearms, tactical vests with plates, helmets and radio equipment.”
The FBI accuses Hackett and others of coordinating the riots with help from the Signal encrypted chat application. Once there, Hackett and other members of the Oath Keepers group allegedly insulted police officers and forced their way into the building.
FBI records show Hackett entered the building at 2:45 p.m. and exited nine minutes after.
BL understands obstruction charges can carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
No real evidence
However, Deena Hackett maintains authorities never presented any incriminating evidence against her husband.
“I do not even know for sure that Joseph did walk into the Capitol building,” she said according to the Gateway Pundit. “They do not have any video of him, they have not produced any incriminating evidence, any pictures–nothing of him even being in the Capitol.”
Deena also believes the level of punishment does not fit the alleged crime.
“If he was in the Capitol he was only in there for 10 minutes, [and] he has been in jail since May 28, and may go to prison for 20 years for being in the Capitol for 10 minutes,” she said. “They are claiming he was a leader of the Oath Keepers and that he was conspiring to overthrow the government on Jan. 6.”
The woman revealed her husband only joined the Oath Keepers after the summer of 2020, when Black Lives Matter-led protests appeared across the country and became increasingly violent.
“Joe decided he was going to protect us with the Oath Keepers and formed a neighborhood watch,” she said. “That is when he started paying more attention to the news and diving deeper into what was really happening in the country.”
Deena insists her husband previously never took a keen interest in politics.
“He had never even voted in his life [and] this was the first election he ever voted for,” she said. “Now, he is being tortured.”
According to the Justice Department website in the first 120 days after January 6, about 440 individuals were arrested on charges related to the Capitol breach. This includes more than 125 people charged with assault or impeding law enforcement.