United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas

01/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/13/2021 17:46

U.S. Attorneys Warn: Don't Mess With Texas

The U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas have announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the State Capitol or elsewhere in violation of federal law ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration.

'During this time of polarized political discord, freedom of speech is an important right that must be safeguarded, but those who threaten to harm others, commit acts of violence, destroy property or attack law enforcement must be held accountable for their criminal behavior,' said U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer. 'Now, more than ever, we must respect the rule of law. The Texas United States Attorneys' Offices along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners will pursue federal charges against those who refuse to do so.'

U.S. Attorney Sofer joins his counterparts - U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah and U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox of the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, respectively - to warn those planning to cross state lines to commit crimes in Texas or at the State Capitol that justice will be sought.

As the chief law enforcement officers in each of the federal districts, the U.S. Attorneys will be working with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout the state to aggressively identify individuals who violate federal law. The plan is to ensure that, where appropriate, anyone arrested for committing federal crimes related to protests or similar events on or about Inauguration Day will be processed and held in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia (DC) is prosecuting those individuals identified as allegedly committing crimes during the riots last week at the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Attorneys in Texas have been and will continue to work with Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and necessary law enforcement in those prosecutions.