I-Team: Accused Capitol rioter suspected of smoking weed in building spending 23 hours a day alone in cell

I-Team Special Reports

Ronald "Ronnie" Sandlin pleads not guilty to charges

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man arrested in Las Vegas for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol riot is spending 23 hours a day alone in his cell, his lawyer said in a court hearing.

The FBI arrested Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin outside of Nathaniel “Nathan” DeGrave’s apartment near the Las Vegas Strip on Jan. 29. The FBI had surveilled DeGrave’s residence and noticed Sandlin’s truck parked outside, documents filed in January said.

Both are charged for entering the Capitol illegally.

Sandlin, of Tennessee, was seen on video smoking weed inside the building. He is heard on the video saying, “People are smoking weed in here. Thank you, patriot. We made history in here,” according to court documents.

Sandlin had written on social media in January that he had planned to drive to Washington from Memphis, Tennessee, for former President Donald Trump’s rally, court documents said. However, no community where Sandlin is known to have resided, including Las Vegas, can find a record of him voting this past presidential cycle, the I-Team found.

During a court hearing Thursday, Sandlin’s court-appointed lawyer told a judge his client was spending 23 hours of the day alone in a cell at a jail in the District of Columbia.

Sandlin pleaded not guilty Thursday to the charges against him, which include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting.

A photo submitted into evidence shows Ronald Sandlin inside the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors said. (KLAS)

The prosecutor in the case told the judge she was reviewing new evidence that she said showed Sandlin “depositing an item with a third party” that he referred to as “leverage.” She said this may refer to the two men with whom Sandlin traveled to Washington with, which includes DeGrave.

During a detention hearing in federal court in February, Sandlin asked the judge to “have mercy on” him. The judge noted Sandlin owes $500,000 in back taxes.

Sandlin is due back in court next week.

Sandlin faces charges of:

  • Assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers
  • Civil disorder
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting
  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings
  • Act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings
  • Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories