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Ohio man sentenced to prison for assaulting law enforcement during Jan. 6 Capitol breach

District of Columbia, Press Release

An Ohio man was sentenced to prison recently for assaulting law enforcement 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 2020 presidential election.

Clifford Mackrell, 23, of Wellington, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. On Oct. 13, 2023, Mackrell pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.

According to court documents, Clifford Mackrell traveled from his home in Ohio with his father, Michael Mackrell, to Washington, D.C., to participate in the former President's "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, 2021. After the rally, Clifford Mackrell and his father marched to the Capitol, wearing protective gear, including gas masks, bandanas, heavy gloves, and carrying backpacks.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., and just after Congress was forced into recess, Mackrell and his father arrived at the West Front of the Capitol, where police officers had installed a row of bike rack barricades restricting public access. When they arrived, tear gas and other chemical irritants filled the air, emergency warning systems blared into the crowd, and the line of police officers spread across the West Front was under constant attack from the mob of rioters.

Here, Mackrell positioned himself on the front line of rioters and engaged with and assaulted United States Capitol and Metropolitan Police Department officers. Court documents say that Mackrell and other rioters pushed back bike rack barricades into the police line, causing the officers to abandon their line and retreat closer to the Capitol building. 

In addition, Mackrell assaulted multiple law enforcement officers, including by striking and pushing officers, violently pulling at an officer's gas mask, and using plywood to push against officers. During one such assault, Mackrell reached under an officer's riot shield and grabbed at the officer's face and eyes. The officer can be heard screaming in agony on a body-worn camera during the assault.

Court documents say that Mackrell also helped push a large sheet of plywood into a line of officers, which forced them off their protective line. When the plywood fell, Michael Mackrell pushed an officer to the ground, and Clifford Mackrell pushed other police officers in the police line.

Following the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Mackrell wrote of his exploits on social media, including one post which revealed that he was proud of his actions on January 6 and that he and the other rioters "sent [our] message" and that "the cops got there [sic] [expletive] handed to them."

The FBI arrested Clifford Mackrell on March 17, 2021, in Wellington.

Michael Mackrell previously pleaded guilty to his role in the events of Jan. 6 and is awaiting sentencing.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section prosecuted this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio provided valuable assistance.

The FBI's Cleveland and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. The U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

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