LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A U.S. Capitol rioter arrested in Las Vegas and who is awaiting sentencing sent messages to friends shortly after Jan. 6, saying he expected to serve prison time, and later threatened a jail officer with a chair, documents filed in federal court the 8 News Now Investigators reviewed said.

The FBI arrested Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin, 35, outside of Nathaniel “Nate” DeGrave’s apartment near the Las Vegas Strip on Jan. 29, 2021 – three weeks after the Jan. 6 insurrection. The 8 News Now Investigators interviewed both men from jail last year.

Inside the Capitol, Sandlin attempted to rip off an officer’s helmet before reaching the U.S. Senate Chamber. While leaving the building, Sandlin took an oil painting off a wall before leaving it behind, prosecutors said.

Sandlin was also 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.

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

Sandlin said he came to Washington, in part, due to his belief in widespread voter fraud. Even before Jan. 6, leaders of both parties, including then-Attorney General Bill Barr, a Republican, said the former president’s claims of fraud were lies.

Sandlin pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, in September. DeGrave pleaded guilty for his role in the riot in June.

Sandlin was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday. DeGrave’s sentencing date was scheduled for January.

Before Sandlin’s arrest in January 2021, the FBI executed a search warrant on Sandlin’s Facebook account, finding messages between him, DeGrave and a third man.

Sandlin, an internet marketer, lived in Las Vegas for several years before moving to Tennessee to be closer to family in 2020. He said he intended to return to Las Vegas soon after. Sandlin had written on social media in January 2021 that he had planned to drive to Washington from Memphis. According to court documents, a post from Sandlin said he was asking for money through a GoFundMe page.

Sandlin later met up with DeGrave and the third man in a Maryland hotel. Prosecutors said the trio came to the area with weapons. Sandlin had a knife with him during the Capitol riot, but did not use or show it, prosecutors said.

The 30-page Facebook business record provided in court documents includes the messages among the trio and other chats from Sandlin’s friends.

“Protest, but don’t commit crimes,” one person messaged Sandlin on Jan. 6. “You’re more valuable than a federal charge. Use your head.”

A photo submitted in court documents shows Ronald Sandlin at a door at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (KLAS)

Sandlin said he believed something could be done to overturn the election by going to the Capitol, possibly by swaying lawmakers’ decision to certify the vote, he told the 8 News Now Investigators last year.

“It was a political rally,” he said. “There’s going to be political hyperbole, you know, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ We got caught up in the moment. We got caught up in a mob mentality.”

“Thank you I did it for God and country and I’m ready to face my consequences like a man I believe God is on my side,” Sandlin messaged a person in the days immediately after Jan. 6, according to the chat log. “My lawyer said worst case scenario [is] 1 year in federal prison. I need to lose some weight anyway and it’s a small price to pay for my country.”

A photo submitted in court documents shows Ronald Sandlin holding an oil painting inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (KLAS)

“I will probably spend a few months in jail worst case scenario,” Sandlin said in another chat. “My lawyer isn’t too concerned about it. I’m already working out a Netflix deal on the footage I have.”

As part of a plea agreement, federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Sandlin to no more than 63 months in prison. Sandlin’s attorney has requested a lesser sentence of 41 months.

Prosecutors allege in September, Sandlin and several other inmates at the jail where he was imprisoned pending sentencing threatened a corrections officer with a chair after that officer pepper sprayed another Jan. 6 inmate, documents said.

The Sept. 5 incident report said Sandlin and two other men “were all seen picking up burgundy in color chairs, in a throwing stance, directed toward” two officers. While the officers recommended a charge from the incident, prosecutors did not file charges.

In court in September, a federal judge told Sandlin his sentence could include a fine of as much as $250,000, though the final total is her’s to make.

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

Five people died in the riot, including an officer for the Capitol police. Federal prosecutors have filed charges stemming from the breach against more than 800 people, so far. Damage to the Capitol building was estimated to be around $3 million.

No community where Sandlin is known to have resided, including Las Vegas, can find a record of him voting this past presidential cycle, the 8 News Now Investigators reported last winter. However, Sandlin said he mailed in a ballot.

There is no record of him voting.