Prosecutors recommend 3.5 years – the longest prison sentence yet – for Capitol rioter accused of punching a police officer

Scott Fairlamb outside the Capitol on January 6.
Scott Fairlamb outside the Capitol on January 6.
  • Prosecutors recommended the longest jail sentence for a Capitol riot defendant yet in a Wednesday filing.
  • The government suggested Scott Fairlamb be sentenced to 44 months behind bars for punching a cop.
  • The New Jersey gym owner was the first Capitol rioter to plead guilty to assaulting a police officer.

A New Jersey man accused of punching a police officer during the January 6 Capitol riot, could find himself behind bars for a good deal longer than others charged in relation to the insurrection.

Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing memo on Wednesday, recommended a federal judge sentence Scott Fairlamb to at least three-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the attack.

The New Jersey gym owner was the first defendant to plead guilty to assaulting a police officer during the riot. Fairlamb, 43, also pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of congressional proceedings.

But unlike several other Capitol rioters who have struck plea deals and received relatively lenient sentences, prosecutors are pushing for substantial jail time in Fairlamb's case.

The government suggested 44 months in prison due to aggravating factors in his case, including his two prior assault convictions, his assault on police officers during the riot, and his apparent lack of remorse in the aftermath. As part of the plea deal he struck, prosecutors agreed to a sentence between 41 to 51 months in prison. According to CNN, the two crimes could have carried up to 28 years.

Prosecutors' recommended three-and-a-half years for Fairlamb is the longest suggested sentencing for a Capitol rioter thus far. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in connection to the attack, and more than 100 Capitol rioters have already pleaded guilty.

The hefty sentencing recommendation comes weeks after the chief federal judge presiding over Capitol riot cases slammed the DOJ for suggesting light sentences for several rioters who took plea deals. Many have received probation or just weeks behind bars.

The prosecutors' sentencing memo described how Fairlamb was inspired by Steve Bannon to halt the Congressional proceedings, and how Fairlamb allegedly threatened Rep. Cori Bush by tagging her in an Instagram post and writing that he "shoulda lit your ass up," seemingly while in the Capitol.

An attorney for Fairland did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Fairlamb, the son of a police officer and the brother of a Secret Service agent, heads to sentencing next week.

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