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Nampa man who attacked officers with pipe in U.S. Capitol riot pleads guilty

Duke Edward Wilson faces up to 20 years in prison at his Nov. 22 sentencing.
Credit: FBI
Duke Wilson is seen in this video still, provided by the FBI, during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — An Idaho man who hit a police officer with a PVC pipe and shoved others to the ground during a deadly riot at the United States Capitol in January has pleaded guilty. 

Duke Edward Wilson of Nampa, 67, admitted Tuesday morning to assaulting a federal officer and obstructing an official proceeding in the failed coup. He faces up to 20 years in prison at his Nov. 22 sentencing.

Other charges, including civil disorder, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, act of physical violence in a resticted building, and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building, were dropped as part of the agreement.

Wilson was arrested in April, then indicted by a grand jury weeks later. 

The riot happened Jan. 6, 2021 when a mob of supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, which President Joe Biden won. The rioters overwhelmed Capitol Police and broke windows and doors to force their way into the building. 

Ultimately, five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died, and more than 100 D.C. and Capitol officers were hurt. The mob also caused more than $1.4 million worth of damage inside the Capitol. 

Video from officers' body cameras and clips uploaded to YouTube show Wilson among the throng of people clashing with police, investigators said.

According to FBI Special Agent Donald August Mockenhaupt, the recordings show Wilson - wearing a dark jacket and a baseball cap with the words "CNN" and "FAKE NEWS" printed on it - enter the lower west terrace tunnel area of the U.S. Capitol just after 3 p.m., as rioters were pushing against the line of police officers trying to keep them out.

"Wilson made his way to the front line of the officers. As officers tried to close a set of double doors, Wilson grabbed and tried to pull the door open," the agent wrote. "Wilson then raised what appeared to be a tablet device in order to deflect the spray of an irritant." 

After being pepper-sprayed, the suspect picked up a plastic PVC pipe and jabbed officers with it, then threw the pipe at them, Mockenhaupt wrote in his affidavit.

"Shortly after a rioter stated, 'Send the shield back, send the shield back' and “Take the God damn shield,'" the affidavit continued. "Wilson appeared to assist other rioters in pulling a shield away from the officers. In the skirmish, Wilson pushed two officers to the ground." 

A sergeant with Capitol Police interviewed by the FBI told agents that Wilson had "punched him, pushed on his head, pushed on his shield and hit him with a pole in the shoulder," according to the affidavit. 

One of Wilson's neighbors told the FBI that he had gone to D.C. to attend the rally at the Capitol and had returned to Nampa late in the evening on Jan. 7. 

As part of the plea deal, federal prosecutors have agreed not to bring any additional non-violent charges against Wilson, although he could still face more charges related to any other violent acts in the riot. Wilson also agreed to cooperate with any additional investigation, including turning over his social media accounts to law enforcement for review. 

Wilson is the second Idahoan to plead guilty in the riot. Meridian resident Josiah Colt, who was photographed dangling from a Senate balcony and later sitting in the vice president's chair, admitted to felony obstructing an official proceeding in July.