Citadel cadet pleads guilty to role in Capitol riots

A Citadel cadet pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:12 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Citadel cadet pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots.

Elias Irizarry, 20, was arrested in March of 2021 after several people who know him identified him to federal officials. Irizarry drove to Washington D.C. the night of January 5., spending the night in a hotel with two friends, according to the Statement of Offense released Wednesday.

The York County teen, who was a freshman at the time, is seen several times on cameras in the Capitol Building during the incident and is seen with a metal pipe in his hand.

As Irizarry and the two others approached the west side of the Capitol building, they saw downed metal bicycle barricades and broken fencing around the Capitol building, according to documents from the Department of Justice. Another rioter gave Irizarry a metal pole from the barricade, which he then carried inside the Capitol building.

Irizarry’s guilty plea comes after other South Carolinians faced charges in the Capitol attacks.

Irizarry pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1). The violation carries a maximum sentence of one (1) year of imprisonment; a fine of $100,000, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)(5); a term of supervised release of not more than 1 year, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(b)(3); and an obligation to pay any applicable interest or penalties on fines and restitution not timely made, according to the Statement of Offense.

We reached out to the Citadel for comment on the matter, as they said they would not be making a statement until the matter was resolved. The Citadel gave us this statement:

“Mr. Irizarry is currently enrolled at The Citadel. The college is aware of the plea agreement; however, due to FERPA, we are unable to comment or speculate on any potential disciplinary proceedings.”

Irizarry’s sentencing is set for March 15, 2023.