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2021 Top Stories: 2 men charged in U.S. Capitol riot

On Jan. 6, an angry mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed and laid siege to the U.S. Capitol.

They sought to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The Capitol was locked down and lawmakers and staff were evacuated, while rioters assaulted law enforcement officers, vandalized property and occupied the building for several hours.

Two local men were charged with participating in the siege.

The first to be arrested was a Fleetwood man who had been charged with assaulting three police officers and a member of the news media during the riot.

According to the charging documents, Alan Byerly was armed with a Taser and attacked police officers and a member of the media.

His case is working its way through the federal court.

The 54-year-old Byerly entered a not guilty plea in September to the charges and has turned down a plea deal from federal prosecutors. The judge has set a tentative trial date in April.

The second to be arrested was an East Cocalico Township man who is facing several charges arising from the Jan. 6 attack.

According to the charging documents, Edward McAlanis was inside the Capitol during the insurrection and took photos of himself with a statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the building.

At the time of his arrest McAlanis was serving as chairman of the East Cocalico Township Recreation Board. He has since submitted a letter to the township supervisors stating that he would be taking a leave of absence from the post citing the charges against him.

McAlanis pleaded guilty last month to one of the four counts with which he was charged as part of a deal with prosecutors, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building. The charge that McAlanis pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of six months in federal prison and a $5,000 fine.

The judge has scheduled a sentencing date in February.

Source: Berkshire mont

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