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Maryland man becomes 20th to plead guilty in Jan 6. Capitol riot

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on Wednesday in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- A Maryland man became the 20th person to plead guilty for taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Andrew Bennett pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building, which carries a charge of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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As part of the agreement, Bennett also agreed to allow law enforcement to review his social media accounts prior to his sentencing in October.

Court documents said that Bennett was seen wearing a hat with a slogan associated with the Proud Boys -- an all-male group known to engage in violent crime and promote an ideology of misogyny and White nationalism -- while inside the Capitol.

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Evidence did not show that he marched with Proud Boys to the Capitol and part of his plea agreement stated that he contacted a Maryland chapter to join the group but prosecutors "did not find evidence that Bennett is a member of or associate of any organized chapter of the Proud Boys."

A criminal complaint said the FBI received a tip that Bennett was live streaming on Facebook while inside the Capitol.

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One video showed Bennett chanting "break it down" while near a door located to the Speaker's Lobby where a gunshot can be heard. Prosecutors said they believe the video depicts the scene in which U.S. Capitol Police shot and killed Ashli Babbitt.

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On Monday, Paul Allard Hodgkins became the first person to be sentenced for a felony related to the riot as he was ordered to serve eight months in prison after pleading guilty last week to a single count of obstruction.

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