Southern California man admits to role in Jan. 6 insurrection

A Southern California man pleaded guilty Tuesday, Nov. 8 to a federal misdemeanor charge for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to court records.

Derek Sulenta, who was arrested in Long Beach on Aug. 4, pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol Building. Sulenta faces a maximum of six months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine when he’s sentenced. He will also be ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol, a federal agency that maintains the building, to help cover damage caused by Jan. 6 rioters, court records indicated.

Sulenta traveled to Washington D.C. from Los Angeles and entered the Capitol around 2 p.m. Jan. 6, 2021, according to a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent. A relative tipped off authorities after Facebook posts located him at the Capitol during the attack, which aimed to forestall certification of the 2020 presidential election. Sulenta wrote “Dude we breached the capital (sic) building” and “Inside the capital building. This is wild!” on his Facebook account, it added.

The Facebook account, which lists Sulenta’s hometown as Chino Hills, appears to have not been publicly updated since December 2021.

Sulenta is due to be sentenced Feb. 22, according to court records.

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