WASHINGTON – A Georgia man was found guilty in the District of Columbia of felony charges for his actions during the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Bruno Joseph Cua, 20, of Milton, Georgia, was found guilty during a stipulated trial on February 24th of two felonies: obstruction of an official proceeding; and assaulting, resisting, interfering with, intimidating, opposing, or impeding officers. The trial was conducted by U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss.
According to the government’s evidence, the defendant and his parents drove from Milton, Georgia to Washington, D.C. on January 5, 2021. On January 6, 2021, they attended the rally at the Washington Monument, during which President Trump told the crowd they should walk down to the Capitol. After arriving on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, the defendant separated from his parents. With an asp baton in his hands, the defendant climbed scaffolding on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building.
The defendant entered the Capitol through the Upper West Terrace doors at approximately 2:36 p.m., past a line of United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers who were guarding the door as an alarm was blaring. He walked through the Rotunda, and then up the stairs to the third floor.
While on the third floor, the defendant walked down a hallway, tried to open multiple doors, and yelled, “This is what happens when you piss off patriots!”, “Hey! Where are the swamp rats hiding?!”, and “Where are the swamp rats hiding at?”
At approximately 2:41 p.m., the defendant reached the doors to the Senate Gallery. At that time, on-duty USCP officers were attempting to lock the doors to the Senate Gallery to prevent the Senate Gallery and Senate Floor from being breached by the mob. The defendant assaulted one of the USCP officers by violently shoving him at least twice. As a result of the defendant’s and others’ actions, the officer retreated from the doors, without locking them.
At approximately 2:45 p.m., the defendant rushed into the Senate Gallery and yelled in celebration “This is our house! This is our country!” After several minutes in the Senate Gallery, the defendant jumped from the Senate Gallery down to the Senate Floor, where he walked directly to the dais at the center of the Senate Chamber, where the Secretary of the Senate, the Vice President of the United States, presides over the Senate. The defendant sat in the Vice President’s chair, reclined, and put his feet up on the desk. The defendant spent several minutes on the Senate Floor, during which time he accessed several desks belonging to U.S. Senators and helped other rioters enter the Senate Chamber.
Law enforcement escorted the defendant out of the Capitol at 2:53 p.m.
Before the attack on the Capitol, the defendant made multiple statements on social media about his plans to violently interrupt the certification proceedings. After January 6, the defendant made several more statements on social media confirming his participation in the riot, the use of violence during the riot, and his belief that additional violence may be necessary in the future.
The defendant was arrested on February 5, 2021, in Georgia.
The defendant is scheduled for sentencing on May 12, 2023. The felony obstruction charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The assault charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 8 years in prison. The charges also carry potential financial penalties. The Court will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 25 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 985 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including approximately 319 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.