WASHINGTON — Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, of North Kingstown, RI, the second Rhode Islander arrested for his Capitol insurrection actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to two months in prison for his crimes.
Sirr, a facility engineer at the RI Nuclear Science Center, site of the state’s sole nuclear reactor, was arrested in North Kingstown June 29, 2022, on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his actions at the U.S. Capitol. His brief imprisonment will be followed by 12 months of probation with six months of home confinement, and restitution of $2,000 for assaulting resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and obstruction of an official proceeding. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2023 in the District of Columbia.
The insurrection Sirr participated in, aimed at overturning the Presidential election, was the subject of Congressional hearings, also focusing on President Donald J. Trump’s actions that day.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Sirr was among rioters who illegally entered the Capitol grounds. He joined a line of rioters that was engaged in a confrontation with law enforcement officers in the tunnel area of the Lower West Terrace. At approximately 3:08 p.m., Sirr entering the tunnel area of the Lower West Terrace and joined rioters in assaulting officers at the front of the police line that law enforcement was using to push against the rioters who were assaulting them.
Video showed Sirr pushing against the police line with his hand pressed against a police shield and participating in a struggle with a group of rioters as they moved together as a team against law enforcement. At 3:14 p.m., Sirr exited the tunnel and reappeared an hour later, at the Lower West Terrace doorway, joining with other rioters who were pushing against police officers before being ejected from the tunnel area.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Boston Division and its Providence Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Rhode Island State Police and North Kingstown Police Department along with the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. Among those was the Dec. 21, 2022 FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrest of William B. Cotton, 53, in Hopkinton, for his documented involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
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