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WI Nat’l Guard is removing soldier who pleaded guilty over Jan. 6 Capitol breach

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
April 21, 2022

The Wisconsin National Guard is removing a guardsman who pleaded guilty to trespassing while demonstrating at the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year.  

According to a Fox 6 Milwaukee report on Tuesday, Abram Markofski – who serves in Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment, which is a National Guard unit out of River Falls, Wisc. – accepted a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that required him to plead guilty to one of four charges. The guilty plea prompted a review by the Wisconsin National Guard, which subsequently determined Markofski should be removed from the service.  

“Pfc. Abram Markofski was found guilty of Federal trespassing in December 2021,” the Wisconsin National Guard said in a statement to FOX Television Stations. “The Wisconsin National Guard then completed a review of all of the relevant documents and information. Based on the information provided, the Wisconsin National Guard initiated an administrative separation proceeding in accordance with Army Regulation.”

Facing a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for the charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building, Markofski’s punishment for the misdemeanor ultimately included 24 months probation, a $500 restitution and a $1,000 fine.  

Markofski also agreed to cooperate with officials’ ongoing investigation of the riot, which includes being interviewed by law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Military.com reported that Markofski has been allowed to continue training for one year and is reportedly earning a paycheck from the state, a source said.

“It remains a pending personnel matter,” the Guard told Fox.

Prior to his sentencing, Markofski’s colleagues and leaders within the Guard submitted statements to the court vouching for his character. They asked the court to impose a more lenient sentence so that Markofski could continue his service.

“In my professional opinion as one of his mentors, and as a witness of PFC Markofski’s moral character, I truly believe that he is an asset to the United States Army,” 2nd Lt. Joel Stevenson, Markofski’s platoon leader, said in one of the statements.

Earlier this month, Jacob Fracker, the first active duty military member to be charged for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol, was kicked out of the Virginia National Guard.

Fracker pleaded guilty in March to a conspiracy charge and was released on bail ahead of his sentencing trial, which could send him to prison for up to five years. Virginia National Guard spokesperson Alfred Puryear told Military.com in a statement, “Now that his civilian charges have been adjudicated, the process has started for an administrative separation from the Virginia Army National Guard.”