Former Citadel cadet to be sentenced in Jan. 6 riots this week

A former Citadel cadet will be sentenced for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots on Wednesday.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:13 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 8:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Citadel cadet will be sentenced for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots on Wednesday.

Elias Irizarry 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 Jan. 5, spending the night in a hotel with two friends, according to the Statement of Offense released by the Department of Justice following his guilty plea on Oct. 26, 2022.

He has since been suspended from the military school in Charleston.

Irizarry will be sentenced at 4 p.m. in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

The government is asking for Irizarry to serve 45 days in prison with 12 months of supervision and 60 hours of community service after he’s released.

In a 24-page memorandum, the prosecution outlines Irizarry’s actions at the capitol. The document says he witnessed violence against police officers, and while he didn’t attack others himself, he watched and continued into the building. The document says there is video of him wielding a metal pole and directing rioters into the capitol.

The document also includes pictures. He can be seen climbing into the building through a window and sitting in an atrium with a metal pole laid across his lap.

At the time, Irizarry was a member of the United States Civilian Air Patrol, tasked with “keeping the homeland safe.” He was also a Citadel student, and the school found that he violated his oath to the college’s core values of honor, duty and respect.

In his own 24-page filing, Irizarry’s defense team argues that he should get a probation period and com unity service. They argue that he did not destroy evidence, he was inside the building for less than thirty minutes, he has cooperated with authorities is extremely remorseful for his conduct.

The filing includes character references and a letter from Irizarry himself, expressing regret and calling his participation a mistake. Irizarry writes that he has brough shame to his family and is embarrassed by his actions. He calls his participation ‘the worst mistake of my life.’