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Navy veteran gets nearly 5 years in prison over Jan. 6

Police clear the hallway inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
November 20, 2023

Navy veteran Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas was sentenced to almost five years in prison during a federal court hearing on Thursday for his participation in the January 6 Capitol storming.

According to, Thomas, age 41, received a sentence of four years and ten months in prison, followed by three years of probation. Additionally, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that Thomas would be required to pay a $20,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution.

While the jury acquitted Thomas on two counts, including the obstruction of a congressional proceeding, and remained deadlocked on two other counts, Thomas was found guilty on seven charges, including disorderly conduct and assault against police officers. reported that Thomas was recorded attacking police officers both physically and verbally as the officers attempted to prevent Jan. 6 protesters from entering the U.S. Capitol during the certification process of the 2020 presidential election.

Thomas was in Washington, D.C., with his wife and child on Jan. 6. While he sent his wife and child to safety away from the protest, he testified in court that he told them, “I can go and help … That’s what the military trains you to do, is you go towards the danger and provide any sort of aid that you can.”

However, prosecutors claimed that Thomas was heard shouting, “Police stand down” and “This is our house” during the Jan. 6 protest. Video footage from the protest also showed Thomas punching police officers and participating in the riot.

READ MORE: Ray Epps facing DOJ criminal charges for Jan 6 Capitol Storming, attorney says

Thomas’ defense attorneys stated in a sentencing memo that the Navy veteran was “brutally aware of the seriousness of his conduct” and that the veteran was taking “full and complete responsibility for his actions.”

The memo also claimed that none of the police officers that Thomas came into contact with “reported any physical pain or injuries attributed to Mr. Thomas.”

After Thomas was arrested, the Navy veteran informed his probation officer of his former military service; however, a sentencing memo provided by federal prosecutors claimed that Thomas misled his probation officer regarding his military service.

Records shared with reveal that Thomas enlisted in the Navy in June of 2000. Thomas served for three years, ending his military service as an E-2 apprentice airman in October 2003. reported that Thomas’ only duty station was Strike Fighter Squadron 213 in Oceana, Virginia. Thomas was also awarded two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, which said indicates that he was deployed at sea for at least three months on two separate occasions.

Contrary to his military service records, Thomas published a fundraising campaign page, calling himself “a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom [Afghanistan] & Operation Iraqi Freedom [Iraq].”

Prosecutors claimed in a court filing, “Thomas actively misled the probation officer during his presentence interview, particularly regarding his dismissal from the Navy.”

According to prosecutors, Thomas claimed that he had received one “non-judicial punishment for an unspecified offense,” despite actually receiving three non-judicial punishments and eventually being dismissed for his “misconduct.”

According to the court filing, Thomas was punished for making “provoking speech and gestures” toward a fellow Navy member, using marijuana and methamphetamines, and being absent without the military’s permission. After being discharged from the military, Thomas also was convicted of domestic battery and felony burglary.

Court filings show that Thomas used his position as a Jan. 6 defendant and former military member to raise “over $77,607 in charitable contributions.” The Thomas’ GiveSendGo campaign page currently shows that the veteran raised more than $80,000 in funds.