Keene man pleads guilty in Jan. 6 riot case
Keene’s Jason Riddle pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection riots at the United State Capitol Building.
Riddle, 33, was caught largely because he publicized his actions during the riots. He shared photos and videos to his social media accounts of himself in the building, drinking a stolen bottle of wine, and of the Senate Procedure manual he stole and sold on Ebay, according to court documents. Riddle gave interviews to media outlets in the days after the riots, as well, depicting his wandering through the building.
As Riddle strolled through the building, rioters were breaking in and people in military garb were reportedly looking to kill members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, according to court documents.
He pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property, and one count of illegal parading in a government building. United States District Court Judge Dabney Fredrich said Riddle could be sentenced to up to one and a half years in prison under the terms of the plea agreement.
Riddle will be sentenced on Feb. 17 in the United States District Court in Washington D.C.
Riddle, has run unsuccessfully for county office in Keene as a Republican and gave an interview earlier this year in which he indicated plans to run against U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-Hopkinton. When asked about the criminal charges, he said his participation in the events will help his campaign.
“In the long run if you’re running for office any attention is good attention,” he told an NBC interviewer.
In the same interview, Riddle appeared unaware that Kuster is a United States representative. He indicated that he thought she was a state representative who worked at the State House in Concord.
Riddle appears to enjoy the publicity. FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson cites Riddle’s first interview with an NBC outlet in which Riddle admitted to going into the Capitol building along with the rioters.
“I just, I just had to see it,” Riddle said in the interview.
“When asked (by the NBC reporter) if Riddle regretted it, Riddle responded, ‘No,’” Helson writes in his affidavit.
Riddle is also quoted by NBC as saying he “poured a glass of wine and watched it all unfold,” while in the building and watching the violence.
“They were smashing computers, and printers, and breaking things, and throwing papers and lamps around,” Riddle said in the NBC interview, according to Helson’s affidavit.
Riddle supplied reporters with video and photos he took of the action inside the building, including numerous videos and photos of himself. Many of the photos of Riddle are included in Helson’s affidavit.
Helson writes that FBI agents interviewed Riddle in Keene on Jan. 22 when executing a search warrant to obtain digital photos and video. During that interview, Riddle allegedly admitted to going in as part of a “break in” led by a “big dude.” Riddle also admitted to taking the Senate book and drinking the wine, according to Helson.
“Riddle also admitted that he stole a small Fox News football from the same office, but tossed it aside as he exited the Capitol building,” Nelson wrote.
Riddle told the agents that before they arrived he had tried to delete photos from his phone.
“Riddle also admitted that at some point after the Capitol incident, he had deleted some messages, photos, and videos of his D.C. trip from his phone, during what he termed a ‘delete frenzy,’” Helson wrote.