Federal charges filed against Apple Valley man for breach of US Capitol in January

Stock image | Photo by Kiyoshi Tanno/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —  A Utah man was arrested Thursday and faces federal charges for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol in January – and is one of 400 individuals arrested over the last several months.

2019 file photo of 5th District Court where federal hearings are held, St. George, Utah, August, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

According to the federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Landon Kenneth Copeland, 33, of Apple Valley, has been charged with several federal offenses, including one count each of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers,  obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining on restricted grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Federal prosecutors allege that on Jan. 6, Copeland entered the Capitol grounds where he assaulted law enforcement officers and obstructed their efforts to carry out their duties.

The security footage captured during the breach and later recovered by the U.S. Capitol Police Department reportedly showed the suspect shouting at the officers as he pushed another crowd member into the police line before they were pushed back.

Shortly after, the government alleges that Copeland was then involved in a “tug-of-war style” struggle with police over a metal bike rack that served as a fence barricade.

Then, after one or more police officers deployed pepper spray, the footage showed the suspect throw the bike rack toward multiple officers, which obstructed authorities’ efforts to maintain order and carry out their duties, the federal court documents stated.

The charges were filed following an investigation headed by the FBI including agents from both the Washington D.C. and Salt Lake City field offices.

Stock image of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

Federal prosecutors also noted that Copeland was the 56th on the list of individuals the FBI and the Metropolitan police were seeking information on.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, agencies that  received “valuable assistance” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah, the statement said.

Copeland appeared before Magistrate Judge Paul Kohler in District Court in St. George on Thursday.

According to Utah court records, Copeland has several open cases filed over the last year that are still pending in the courts. The cases include charges of arson, theft, firearms and drug charges.

In the first 100 days following the incident on Jan. 6, more than 400 individuals have been charged with crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 100 suspects who were charged with crimes related with the assault of police officers or with impeding law enforcement.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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