Home Local News Federal prosecutors seek prison time for former Minot man’s role in Jan. 6 riot

Federal prosecutors seek prison time for former Minot man’s role in Jan. 6 riot

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Federal prosecutors seek prison time for former Minot man’s role in Jan. 6 riot

Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, a Minot native, posted this photo of himself on social media after leaving the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Image from social media

A day after Minot native Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon told the Sun Journal in January 2021 about him firsthand take on the insurrection at the US Capitol — including his assertion that lawmakers inside were vicious bloodsuckers — agents from the FBI gave him a call.

Simon repeated to the FBI his narrative about staying outside the building Jan. 6, 2021.

Federal prosecutors, who are pushing for a judge Friday to sentence Simon to nearly a year behind bars, said Simon lied to agents twice during their conversation, insisting he did not enter the Capitol and did not take pictures or video that day.

Simon even told them, prosecutors said, that “he was helping police officers who were being attacked” outside the building by rioters attempting to block Congress from the routine approval of Electoral College votes that showed Democrat Joe Biden had defeated incumbent Republican President Donald Trump two months earlier.

Images of Mitch Simon helping push a metal rack into beleaguered police officers at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. US Department of Justice

By April, relying on video evidence that found no hint Simon had sought to help embattled officers, the FBI knew Simon had been among those forcing their way into the Capitol. That led to his arrest in Georgia.

Investigators later discovered more video showing Simon had “attempted to push past officers manning the bicycle racks” outside the building “and resisted their efforts to clear the Rotunda,” after the mob seized control of portions of the Capitol.

Simon has since admitted he participated in the riot.

US District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell US District Court, Washington DC

During an in-person proceeding Friday, a federal district court judge in the nation’s capital, Beryl Howell, is to determine the appropriate sentence for Simon’s actions.

Simon’s lawyer asked for three years of probation, including six months of home confinement. Prosecutors are urging Simon spend 10 months behind bars, plus a year of supervised release, 60 hours of community service and $500 restitution.

Prosecutors cited the Sun Journal story as a significant reason for cracking down on Simon because he “vaingloriously celebrated the riot” when he spoke with so much “bravado” to the newspaper a week after the event.

Prosecutors also cited among the items weighing against Simon his choice to wear a plated vest to the Capitol, an indication he was prepared for violence; his physical contact with officers on the scene; his mockery of officers trying to defend Congress; his efforts to find lawmakers within the building; his presence during the insurrection for more than an hour; his resistance to officers trying to clear the Capitol Rotunda; his lies to the FBI; and a prior conviction in 2011 for disorderly conduct/fighting.

The sentencing memorandum from federal prosecutors, filed with the court this month, indicates for the first time that Simon traveled from Maine to Washington to participate in “stop the steal” — what Trump called the movement against the process of certifying the November 2020 presidential election results.

Federal prosecutors shared a video surveillance image they say pinpoints Mitch Simon’s presence inside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. FBI surveillance photo

Simon attended a rally held near the White House before heading to the Capitol, joining the successful effort to enter the building and force the US House of Representatives and US Senate to halt proceedings and flee.

Simon bragged on social media that #congressranawayscared when the mob broke through police lines during an hourslong battle.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors told the judge: “The attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is a criminal offense unparalleled in American history. It represented a grave threat to our democratic norms; indeed, it was the one of the only times in our history when the building was literally occupied by hostile participants.”

They said each of the hundreds of defendants charged with crimes connected to the insurrection “should be sentenced based on their individual conduct,” but they also pointed out that all of them, at a minimum, “crossed through numerous barriers and barricades and heard the throes of a mob.”

“Depending on the timing and location of their approach, they also may have observed extensive fighting with police officials and smelled chemical irritants in the air,” prosecutors said. “No rioter was a mere tourist that day.”

At a House committee meeting several months after the insurrection, a Republican member of Congress, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, compared the mob wandering past statues in the Capitol as looking like a “normal tourist visit.”

Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, whose green sleeve can be seen on the left side, allegedly threw a small item, visible left center above people’s heads in the crowd Jan. 6, 2021. Screenshot from video

Prosecutors urged the judge to look at Simon’s conduct in the same vein as scores of other defendants. They said the crimes of which defendants are guilty “took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm law enforcement, breach the Capitol and disrupt the proceedings.”

“But for his actions alongside so many others, the riot would likely have failed,” prosecutors said.

Simon’s lawyer, Rebecca Shepard, a public defender in Georgia, said her client does not deserve to go to prison.

She said he is “a 31-year-old father of three young children” who owns and operates Omega Tree Service, a tree removal and pruning company in Homer, Georgia.

Simon is a Minot native who attended Poland Regional High School, but has lived in north Georgia for several years.

Shepard said when Simon learned a warrant had been issued for his arrest on four misdemeanor counts, he turned himself in on May 5, 2021, and agreed he was guilty. When new video turned up showing him attacking officers, a plea deal was revoked. A new plea deal, admitting to more serious charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct, was then accepted.

Federal sentencing guidelines filed with the court say the charges to which Simon confessed will likely result in prison time of eight to 14 months and a fine of between $4,000 and $40,000.


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