Ex-Air Force officer gets prison for Jan. 6

Judge sentences Texas man, 55, to two-year term for participation in Capitol riot

FILE - Retired Air Force officer Larry Rendall Brock Jr. walks out of Parker County Jail upon release on Jan. 14, 2021, in Weatherford, Texas. Brock, who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery, was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, March 17, 2023. Brock joined other rioters on the Senate floor only minutes after then-Vice President Mike Pence, senators and their staff evacuated the chamber to escape the mob attacking the building on Jan. 6, 2021. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File)
FILE - Retired Air Force officer Larry Rendall Brock Jr. walks out of Parker County Jail upon release on Jan. 14, 2021, in Weatherford, Texas. Brock, who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery, was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, March 17, 2023. Brock joined other rioters on the Senate floor only minutes after then-Vice President Mike Pence, senators and their staff evacuated the chamber to escape the mob attacking the building on Jan. 6, 2021. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File)

WASHINGTON -- A retired Air Force officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Larry Brock, 55, of Grapevine, Texas, joined other rioters on the Senate floor only minutes after then-Vice President Mike Pence, senators and their staff evacuated the chamber to escape the mob rioting at the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

U.S. District Judge John Bates also sentenced Brock to two years of supervised release after his prison term and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service. Brock, who declined to speak in court before the judge imposed his sentence, remains free until he must report to prison at a date to be determined.

Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Bates convicted Brock in November after a trial without a jury. Brock waived his right to a jury trial.

Brock believed claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Republican incumbent Donald Trump, prosecutors said.

In a Facebook message to another user, Brock outlined what he called a "plan of action if Congress fails to act" on Jan. 6. One of the "main tasks" in his plan was to "seize all Democratic politicians and Biden key staff and select Republicans."

Brock didn't engage in any violence on Jan. 6, but prosecutors said his behavior was "disturbingly premeditated."

Bates convicted Brock of all six counts in his indictment, including obstruction of an official proceeding, the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden's election. The obstruction charge is a felony; the other five counts are misdemeanors.

Defense attorney Charles Burnham said it is "inconceivable that [Brock] was motivated by anything other than genuine concern for democracy."

Brock was wearing a helmet and tactical vest when he entered the building through Senate wing doors roughly 12 minutes after other rioters initially breached them.

On the floor near the East Rotunda stairs, Brock picked up a discarded pair of zip-tie handcuffs. He held the "flex-cuffs" in his right hand in the Senate gallery. On the Senate floor, he examined paperwork on senators' desks.

Brock was employed as a commercial airline pilot at the time of the riot. His lawyer said the Federal Aviation Administration revoked Brock's licenses after his January 2021 arrest.

Also Friday, a rioter who signed up for the Air Force after spraying a chemical irritant toward a line of police officers at the Capitol was sentenced to three years and four months in prison by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.

Aiden Bilyard was attending basic training at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio when the FBI questioned him several months after the riot.

He later separated from the Air Force and returned home to Cary, N.C. Bilyard, now 20, pleaded guilty to an assault charge last year.

  photo  FILE - This undated photo provided by the Grapevine Texas Police Department shows, Larry Rendall Brock Jr. The retired Air Force officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery was sentenced on Friday, March 17, 2023, to two years in prison. Brock joined other rioters on the Senate floor only minutes after then-Vice President Mike Pence, senators and their staff evacuated the chamber to escape the mob attacking the building on Jan. 6, 2021. (GrapevineTexas Police Department via AP)