WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Glens Falls man who worked in Saratoga Springs pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6.
James Bonet, 29, admitted to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor.
He faces up to a year in jail at his February sentencing, though guidelines suggest a term of between no jail time and six months, officials said.
Bonet pleaded guilty Thursday in a hearing held by phone presided over by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. Sullivan is to determine Bonet’s final term at sentencing, after hearing arguments from both sides.
Bonet is to remain free pending sentencing.
Bonet formally admitted that he entered the Capitol at about 3:09 p.m. Jan. 6 through the Senate wing doors while saying “we’re taking it back, we’re taking it back, we made it in the building,” a prosecutor read at the hearing.
He then went to the offices of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and smoked a marijuana cigarette, the prosecutor recounted. Then, approximately 17 minutes later, he left the Capitol building.
Asked by the judge if it happened that way, Bonet agreed that it did.
Asked if he had any changes to the account, Bonet replied, “No, that’s pretty much it.”
Bonet initially faced four counts related to the Jan. 6 riot. A grand jury, however, later increased the charges against him by two, including a new top charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Washington.
The investigation into Bonet, who has been described as working in Saratoga Springs, began five days after the riot when a witness told the FBI that Bonet had been present inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. The witness also provided two videos from Bonet’s Facebook account, according to the original filing in his case.
The witness told the FBI that some of the videos on Bonet’s Facebook account were deleted after posting, including one that appeared to show Bonet smoking a marijuana cigarette inside the Capitol. The FBI later confirmed the account to be Bonet’s.
The filing also included screenshots from the videos, with one titled “Smoking at the capital building” in which Bonet says, “Capitol building smoking with all my people!”
Another video records Bonet declaring that his group “made it in the building” and that they’re “taking it back.”