Covington man sentenced for destroying media gear during Capitol breach

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 4:57 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ) - A Covington man was sentenced February 2, 2023 for destroying media equipment and other conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress set up to count electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Joshua Dillon Haynes, 40, was sentenced to 32 months in prison. He pleaded guilty October 28, 2022 to obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of property. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan also ordered restitution to be determined later and 36 months of supervised release.

According to court documents, during the breach, Haynes was illegally on restricted grounds, “part of a mob that gathered on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, outside the East Rotunda Doors,” according to the US Attorney’s Office. “About 20 minutes later, he followed a mob of rioters and entered the Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door. He remained there until approximately 3:12 p.m., walking in areas including the Crypt and inside the office of a U.S. Senator.”

While outside the building, Haynes helped two other people remove an air conditioning unit from a building outside the Capitol and dropped the unit to the ground, according to court records. He also picked up and slammed down pieces of equipment that belonged to media outlets.

Later, according to court records, Haynes sent someone a text message saying, “broke lotsa stuff.” He then sent an image with the message, “We attacked the CNN reporters and the fake news and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of their video and television equipment.” He followed up with, “I want to get busted for tearing up the nations capital (sic) and the fake news.”

More than 950 people have been arrested across the country for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with tips is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit