Capitol rioter with ties to white supremacists jailed for six months – but will be free in two days

In this 6 January 2021 file photo, violent protesters, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol (AP)
In this 6 January 2021 file photo, violent protesters, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol (AP)

A former member of a white supremacist gang was sentenced to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanour related to the 6 January Capitol insurrection.

Capitol rioter Michael Curzio would be released on Wednesday, two days after being sentenced to six months in jail, as he has already served time since mid January.

"Mr Curzio should be sentenced to the six-month statutory maximum," Judge Carl Nichols said at a hearing. "I am not in a position to be able to impose a longer sentence than that. I think that a six-month sentence is appropriate here. Mr Curzio will have, in two days, served that entire sentence."

Curzio, 35, from Summerfield, Florida, is the second person to be sentenced among more than 500 people who were charged with federal crimes related to the storming of Capitol on 6 January.

An Indiana woman who pleaded guilty to some of the charges was the first person to be sentenced. She was ordered to serve three years on probation, perform 120 hours of community service and pay a fee as compensation.

Curzio confessed he joined a white supremacist group citing his own protection as the reason while he was in prison for attempted murder. He served an eight-year sentence for shooting his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

He previously said he was no longer associated with the gang called the Unforgiven but still has a Nazi symbol tattoo.

He was involved in unlawful protest inside the building and was part of the mob near the door to the House atrium that refused to leave, authorities said.

His attorney said his sentence was "harsher than it should have been” because of his criminal history.

“He didn’t attack anybody. He didn’t break anything. He was just walking around the building like a lot of other people were," attorney A Eduardo Balarezo said in an interview.

While pleading guilty during the virtual hearing, he said: "I’m gonna own up," he said. "I did parade, demonstrate and picket (inside the Capitol). I can’t deny that. You have it on video. I’m not gonna contest it."

"Well, I didn’t hear (the security) telling us to leave," Curzio said. "When law enforcement came in and started arresting people, they grabbed me. And obviously, I was in the wrong on that part. Once the officer told me I was under arrest, I was compliant."