Bridgewater, NH, Man Pleads Guilty in Connection With Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

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U.S. District Court in Concord

By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org

Thomas Gallagher is going to be allowed to enter the city of Washington D.C. for the first time since he was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection in order to be sentenced for his crime. 

The Bridgewater man pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of illegal picketing, parading, or demonstrating inside a Capitol building, and had three other criminal charges dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Gallagher, 61, was arrested in January after initially being released by Capitol Police following his arrest along with five other people. He becomes the second person in his group to take a plea agreement.

Gallagher remains free and he plans to return to Washington D.C. on Oct. 13 for his sentencing hearing. His attorney, Sebastian Norton, said Gallagher thought it important to be sentenced in person rather than over a video conference.

“He wants to take responsibility and have some closure,” Norton said.

Gallagher had been barred from entering the District of Columbia and most of his court hearings have been via video conferencing software. 

Gallagher was at the front of a group that was seen “making loud noises, and kicking chairs, throwing an unknown liquid substance at officers, and spraying an unknown substance at officers,” according to the affidavit filed by Capitol Hill Police Officer Joseph Bruno.

Gallagher was initially cited and released, allowed to return to New Hampshire. However, FBI agents picked him up on a warrant the following week.

According to Bruno’s affidavit, Gallagher and the others “violated 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2), which makes it a crime for an individual or group of individuals to willfully and knowingly (D) utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress, or the orderly conduct in that building of a hearing before, or any deliberations of a committee of Congress or either House of Congress; or (G) parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol Buildings.”

Gallagher was arrested along with Cindy Fitchett, Michael Curzio, Douglas Sweet, Terry Brown and Bradley Rukstales, and he was the only Granite Stater in that particular group, though other New Hampshire residents were in the crowds that day. Curzio changed his plea this week to guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $500 restitution. 

Troy Police Chief David Ellis caused a firestorm when he was quoted by a reporter at the scene of the Jan. 6 protest that turned into the insurrectionist mob. Ellis was quoted as being upset that the protestors were going after police officers, and there is no indication Ellis took part in the mob’s violent actions.

Troy was forced to shut down its town hall for a week after violent threats against town officials were called and emailed in.

Keene’s Jason Riddle, 32, was arrested after he shared photos and videos online in social media and traditional media that showed him inside the U.S. Capitol as rioters were breaking in and people in military garb were reportedly looking to kill members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, according to court documents. Riddle’s case is pending and he recently announced plans to run for Congress. 

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