LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KLAS) — A rioter arrested in Las Vegas weeks after the January 6. Insurgency agreed to plead guilty and serve prison time on Friday.
On January 29, 2021, the FBI arrested Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin, 35, outside Nathaniel “Nate” DeGrave’s apartment near the Las Vegas Strip. According to documents filed in January 2021, the FBI had surveilled DeGrave’s home and noticed Sandlin’s truck parked outside. DeGrave, who spoke with 8 News Now Investigators last year, pleaded guilty to his role in the June riot.
Sandlin pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of Assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, as well as attempting to obstruct an official proceeding. Sandlin informed Judge Dabney Friedrich that he was aware that he would stop or delay the proceedings.
Ronald "Ronnie" Sandlin, 25, of Shelby County, pleaded guilty in a Washington, DC court of for his actions during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, which included telling law enforcement officers they would die. From @jamiescoop. https://t.co/7JfKHAftla
— Tennessee Lookout (@TNLookout) October 2, 2022
Federal prosecutors will not ask Friedrich to sentence Sandlin to more than 63 months in prison as part of a plea agreement. During the hearing, Friedrich stated that while she will follow federal sentencing guidelines, which would place Sandlin in imprisonment for 63-78 months, she has the final say on the length of the sentence. According to Friedrich, the statutory maximum is 20 or 28 years, depending on whether the charges run concurrently.
Sandlin, an internet marketer, spent several years in Las Vegas before relocating to Tennessee to be closer to family in 2020. He stated that he intended to return to Las Vegas soon.
Sandlin announced on social media in January 2021 that he planned to drive from Memphis to Washington. According to court documents, Sandlin posted on Facebook that he was raising funds through a GoFundMe page.
Sandlin, DeGrave, and a third man, Josiah Colt, met in Washington on January 6 to attend President Obama’s “Stop the Steal” rally. Prosecutors claimed the trio arrived at the scene armed. Prosecutors said Sandlin had a knife with him during the Capitol riot but did not use or display it.
According to the 8 News Now Investigators, no community where Sandlin is known to have lived, including Las Vegas, has a record of him voting this past presidential cycle. Sandlin, on the other hand, stated that he voted by mail.
Ahead of the televised Jan. 6 Capitol riot hearings, you can re-watch our interviews with Nate DeGrave and Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin. Both were inside the Capitol that day and arrested near the Las Vegas Strip three weeks later. https://t.co/j8zSPUj66V #January6thCommitteeHearings
— David Charns (@davidcharns) June 9, 2022
There is no evidence that he voted.
Sandlin can be seen in the Capitol building in a video from January 6. He is in the gallery of the United States Senate Chamber at one point. Prosecutors claim that video evidence shows Sandlin attempting to rip a police officer’s helmet and opening doors to the Senate chamber.
Sandlin was also caught on video smoking marijuana inside the building. “People are smoking weed here,” he says in the video. Thank you kindly, patriot. “We made history in here,” according to court documents.
Sandlin stated that he traveled to Washington partly because he believes widespread voter fraud exists. Even before January 6, leaders from both parties, including Republican Attorney General Bill Barr, said the former president’s fraud claims were false.
Both DeGrave and Sandlin remain in jail more than a year after Jan. 6, 2021. Sandlin told me former President Trump’s actions incited him before and on that day. https://t.co/wm4uOmUCKE #January6thCommitteeHearings
— David Charns (@davidcharns) June 9, 2022
“I think you know when you say, ‘You’ve got to fight for your country, or we’re going to have [inaudible], that we’re going to the Capitol,’ he’s one of the most powerful people in the world,” Sandlin said of former President Trump.
“Freedom is purchased with blood, and tyranny always masquerades as safety and security,” Sandlin stated in the video.
Last year, he told the 8 News Now Investigators, “It was a political rally.” “There will be political hyperbole, like ‘Give me liberty or give me death.'” We became engrossed at the moment. We became engaged in a mob mentality.”
Sandlin stated that he believed going to the Capitol could influence lawmakers’ decision to certify the vote and thus overturn the election.
“The videos show one thing, but it’s not always the whole story,” Sandlin explained. “I believe that if people talked to us, they would realize that we are normal Americans with normal lives.”
Freidrich told Sandlin in court on Friday. His sentence could include a fine of up to $250,000, though the final total is up to her.
1/ Unable to view @hausmaus07 ☹️, but here's more information on Sep 15, 2021 superseding indictment against Ronald "Ronnie' Sandlin, 34, Shelby County TN [within 25 miles of Memphis] and Nathaniel DeGrave, 32, Clark County NV.
Originally arrested 1.28.21:https://t.co/hshgauv497
— Arapaho415 (@arapaho415) September 28, 2021
During a detention hearing last year, Sandlin asked a federal judge to “have mercy on” him. Sandlin owes $500,000 in back taxes, according to the judge.
The riot killed five people, including a Capitol police officer. So far, federal prosecutors have charged over 800 people in connection with the breach.
Friedrich was awaiting a pre-sentence report before receiving her sentence on December 9.