A 26-year-old Farmingdale man was sentenced to nearly 3½ years in prison Thursday for assaulting federal officers and committing other crimes during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Greg Rubenacker was sentenced to a total of 41 months behind bars by a Washington D.C. federal judge and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, authorities said. He pleaded guilty in February to all 10 counts of an indictment that included felony charges of resisting or impeding officers, civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding, and committing an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds.
In a statement, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Rubenacker engaged in a series of confrontations with law enforcement officials inside the Capitol. Video recordings captured Rubenacker entering the building through the Senate wing door and saying “This is history! We took the Capitol,” officials said.
His defense attorney, Melville-based Michaelangelo Matera, said his client respects the judge’s ruling but will pursue his appellate remedies.
Rubenacker was part of large crowd that descended on the Capitol after defeated President Donald Trump urged them to protest a joint session of Congress as it convened to count electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.
In the two months between the Nov. 3, 2020, election and the Capitol insurrection, Trump insisted the election was fraudulent and he had won, despite cyber experts in his administration and his attorney general, William Barr, determining that the election was rightfully won by Biden.
On his Twitter page, Trump would later urge his supporters to gather at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted. "Be there, will be wild!"
Rubenacker was in a crowd at the Capitol yelling ”where are they counting the votes” and chased a Capitol police officer, according to the Justice Department statement. Although Rubenacker left the building at one point, federal prosecutors said, he later returned, began smoking marijuana and was recorded on another video posted to social media with the caption “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”
Rubenacker also swung a plastic bottle at an officer’s head, prosecutors said.
He was arrested about a month after the insurrection.
The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney offices in Washington D.C. and the Eastern District of New York, as well as the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack. More than 250 of those arrested had been accused of assaulting and impeding law enforcement officials, officials have said.