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Weed-Smoking Capitol Rioter Spars With Judge Handing Down His Sentence

A New York man who climbed through a broken window during the 2021 Capitol riot and went on to relax in a Senate office with some marijuana has received a prison sentence of three and a half years.

First, though, he exchanged some heated words with U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden.

The judge admonished Brandon Fellows, a 29-year-old chimney repairman and tree cutter from Schenectady, reportedly saying he had never seen a defendant so contemptuous.

“You have repeatedly made a mockery of these proceedings,” McFadden told Fellows on Thursday amid repeated interruptions, WUSA9 News reported.

“There is no grand conspiracy here against you,” McFadden said, per The Washington Post. “It’s time for you to grow up!”

Fellows reportedly displayed no remorse at his August trial, where he represented himself and claimed McFadden was running a “Nazi court.” His antics so alarmed the jury that they sent a note to the judge during deliberations to confirm Fellows did not have any of their personal identifying information.

Fellows was convicted on one felony count and four misdemeanors relating to his participation in the riot.

He continued to lash out at McFadden even after the trial, calling him a “modern day Nazi judge” in one court filing, which he signed as “your favorite Political prisoner.”

Prosecutors displayed images for the jury of Fellows leaning back in a chair in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to smoke marijuana, wearing sunglasses and a fake beard made of yarn as he propped his feet on a piece of furniture.

Brandon Fellows appears in a photograph atop a police motorcycle during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Brandon Fellows appears in a photograph atop a police motorcycle during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Department of Justice

He was caught on camera climbing into the Capitol building through a broken window shortly before 3 p.m. He went on to parade a “Trump 2020” flag through the doors to the Senate Wing. His path brought him to Merkley’s office, then to the Capitol crypt, before he exited the same way he came, harassing two U.S. Capitol Police officers on his way out, according to prosecutors.

He then gave an interview to CNN right outside the building.

Days after the incident, prosecutors said, Fellows made social media posts indicating he was proud to have taken part in the riot.

“Brought my heart joy to see these members terrified for their lives,” he wrote in one post, according to prosecutors. “For what they have done and are doing to this country I hope they live in constant fear.”

Fellows is seen in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) the day of the riot.
Fellows is seen in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) the day of the riot. Department of Justice

In an interview with Bloomberg the week after the riot, Fellows said he believed that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against former President Donald Trump, and said he had “no regrets.” (No evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election has been found.)

Fellows said he got most of his news from YouTube commentators like Ben Shapiro and right-wing outlets like Newsmax, which amplified the “stolen election” conspiracy theory.

His stepfather told Bloomberg that Fellows’ mind was made up: “You can’t really change it with any kind of reality.”

The Department of Justice says that so far more than 1,300 people, from nearly all 50 states, have been charged for their alleged roles in the riot.

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