A former Chicago firefighter was sentenced to prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection
Joseph Pavlik, 66, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden to two months in prison, six months of home confinement and 24 months of supervised release. He also must pay a $6,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution.
“Pavlik’s criminal conduct on January 6 was the epitome of disrespect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
Pavlik pleaded guilty in Washington D.C. in August to obstructing law enforcement and knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building following his arrest early this year.
Federal prosecutors had sought a 13 month sentence.
According to the feds, Pavlik was associated with a group known as the “B Squad,” which is a subgroup of a militia-style, Florida-based organization known as the “Guardians of Freedom.” He and at least five others with ties to the “B Squad” were arrested in connection with the Capitol riot.
Prosecutors allege Pavlik and others attempted to force their way through a line of officers outside the Capitol before making their way into one of the building’s entryways known as the “Tunnel” at the lower west terrace.
Pavlik and numerous others were captured in photos and on video making their way through this area, according to prosecutors.
Once in the Tunnel, Pavlik was allegedly “applying pressure” against a police line before an officer attempted to push him back out. A siege at this entrance — where some members of Congress were sheltering in place — lasted for more than two hours, prosecutors said, but rioters ultimately failed to enter the building there.
Prosecutors also alleged Pavlik’s social media contained “multiple links to militia groups and indicia consistent with holding an Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Violent Extremist (AG/AAVE) ideology” and his phone number was listed on an Oath Keepers roster from 2009 to 2015.
“Pavlik and members of his group came prepared for violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “He carried and helped use chemical spray against officers; he tried to force his way past officers who were defending the Tunnel and the Capitol from further breaches. He pushed against officers in the Tunnel before being expelled and he did not leave the area of the Tunnel until officers used tear gas there. His social media and messages were unrepentant and violent.”
Pavlik reportedly worked with the fire department for more than 30 years before he retired in 2013.
According to the feds, more than 1,200 people have been charged for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.