Capitol Rioter Michael Curzio Will Be Released From Jail This Week After Guilty Plea

Reported white supremacist gang member Michael Curzio pleaded guilty on Monday to one misdemeanor count for his involvement in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. Since the crime carries a 6-month maximum sentence, and he has been detained since January 14, Curzio is set to be freed on Wednesday.

The Florida man was arrested after refusing Capitol Police orders to leave the building during the riot and was taken into federal custody on January 14. He was formally charged on January 15 with four misdemeanor counts: Entering a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; violent entry in the Capitol Building; and parading or demonstrating in the Capitol Building.

Curzio, 35, and other co-defendants were scheduled to appear for a status hearing on July 9, but the Justice Department filed a motion on July 8 that requested an additional plea hearing in his case for Monday.

The Justice Department said on Friday that Curzio and a second defendant, Thomas Gallagher, had agreed to plead guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. That crime carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and since he had already been in custody for nearly the full sentence, Judge Carl Nichols ordered for him to be released on Wednesday.

During an appearance in court on Monday, Curzio admitted to the misdemeanor. "I did parade, demonstrate, picket. You have that on video. I'm not going to deny it. I accept responsibility for my actions, and I want to thank you for being fair," Curzio said to the judge.

The Justice Department opposed his Wednesday release, noting he had only gotten out of prison in 2019 following an eight-year stint for attempted murder. Curzio had been previously been denied bond for his Capitol riot role because of his criminal history and affiliation with a white supremacist prison gang known at the Unforgiven.

Justice Department lawyers noted Curzio's "undisputed history" of membership in the gang, which is known for violent acts both inside and outside of prison walls. The prosecutors also documented the presence of Nazi tattoos on his body at the time of his January arrest.

#CapitolRiot: The DOJ says at the time of his arrest, Michael Curzio had Nazi tattoos associated with a violent, white-supremacist prison gang known as The Unforgiven, which they say he was an "undisputed" member of.

— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) July 9, 2021

Jordan Fischer, a reporter for WUSA in Washington, D.C. and an editor of a newsletter about the January 6 riots called "Capitol Breach," has posted regular updates about Curzio's unusual case on Twitter.

"At the time of his arrest, he bore tattoos with Nazi symbology associated with that gang and was wearing a necklace with a Thor's-hammer pendant," the Justice Department attorney wrote in their opposition to his Curzio's release. "While he claims the pendant is a representation of sincere religious belief, Thor's hammer is also known to be a white-supremacist symbol."

Curzio has claimed he joined the Unforgiven for his own protection, and he has said he is no longer an active member of the gang.

Capitol Breach
A man with ties to a white supremacist gang pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor for his involvement in the Capitol riots and will be released on Wednesday. In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrectionists breach the Capitol in Washington. John Minchillo/AP Photo