01/27/2023 | Press release | Archived content
Defendant Took Part in Confrontation With Law Enforcement Officers on the Lower West Terrace
WASHINGTON - A Rhode Island man pleaded guilty to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to interference with officers during a civil disorder, a felony. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 12, 2023.
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., video showed Sirr entering the tunnel. During a video taken inside the tunnel, Sirr was at the front of the police line pushing against rioters who were assaulting officers. He was seen pushing against the police line with his hand pressed against a police shield. He also participated in a struggle in which a group of rioters chanted "Heave! Ho!" in unison as they moved together as a team against law enforcement.
Sirr exited the tunnel at approximately 3:14 p.m. About an hour later, however, he reappeared at the Lower West Terrace doorway, pushing other rioters who were pushing against police officers. Sirr ultimately was ejected from the tunnel area.
Sirr was arrested on June 29, 2022 in North Kingstown, RI.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island.
The case is being investigated by the FBI's Boston Division and its Providence Resident Agency. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI's Washington Field Office, which identified Sirr as #249 on its seeking information photos, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.