The Ohio man who called himself “Pi Annon” and organized a caravan to Washington, D.C., has been sentenced for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
Kenneth Joseph Owen “Joe” Thomas, 41, of East Liverpool, was sentenced to 58 months in prison on Thursday. He was convicted in June of civil disorder, assaulting law enforcement, trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Thomas — who identified himself online and to reporters as “Pi Anon” or “Pi Annon” — was seen at around 3:30 that day charging a police line trying to hold back the violent mob of Donald Trump supporters that swarmed the Capitol as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win. When the crowd on the Upper West Terrace surged forward, according to prosecutors, Thomas struck and shoved two Metropolitan Police Department officers with his hands.
Police body-worn camera footage recorded the assaults.
Around an hour later, in a different part of the Upper West Terrace, Thomas was again seen on body camera footage approaching a line of police and pushing against their shields. As law enforcement worked to break up the crowd, Thomas ordered rioters at least 15 times to “hold the line,” prosecutors say. He locked arms with other rioters and pushed against the officers. Moments later, he escalated his efforts, rushing to the head of the line of rioters and throwing himself — twice — against an MPD officer while yelling to other rioters to “hold the f—— line.”
Law enforcement officers told investigators that Thomas “was one of the first to come in and start hitting [and] pushing officers on the line.”
Ahead of the day’s violence, Thomas took a video of himself as he convened a caravan of around 60 vehicles planning to head to Washington, D.C., later that day.
“Pi Annon addressed the caravan participants, stating, ‘we all are meeting at the Ellipse to listen to Mike Lindell and President Trump speak,”” prosecutors said in a probable cause affidavit. “‘After that, we’re all going to march together down to the [U.S.] Capitol to listen to Michael Flynn and the events going on down there …. See you in D.C.’”
Thomas also identified himself as “Pi Annon” in an interview with a local news station and said he was the “organizer” of the “MAGA caravan” going toward the capital.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Donald Trump appointee, tacked three years of supervised release, $2,000 in restitution, and a $20,000 fine to Thomas’ sentence.
Although Thomas was convicted on seven counts, the jury acquitted him of witness tampering, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. It deadlocked on additional assault and violent entry, and disorderly conduct counts.
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