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Case Number: 3:21-cr-00022
Judge: Benjamin Beaton
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky (Jefferson County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Louisville, Kentucky criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with violating the Riot Act on January 6, 2021, in downtown Louisville.
John Subleski, age 33, of Louisville was arrested by the FBI on February 11, 2021, and has been in federal custody since that date. Subleski posted multiple statements to social media to incite riots and violence and later committed an act of violence by firing his weapon at a motorist around the second street bridge during a riot in downtown Louisville on January 6, 2021. At the time protesters were stopping and threatening motorists with firearms. It is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2101 to incite, participate, and commit an act of violence such as discharging a firearm.
According to court documents, including the Indictment and criminal complaint, Subleski used a facility of interstate commerce, namely, the internet, Signal, and Facebook, with intent to incite, organize, promote, and carry on a riot and to commit an act of violence in furtherance of a riot on or about December 29, 2020, to January 7, 2021. According to the Indictment, Subleski is a member and leader of the United Pharaoh Guard “UPG”, a/k/a “Loujahadeen,” a Boogaloo Bois based anti-government anti-police ideology in Louisville, Kentucky.
On December 29, 2020, Subleski posted, “Just thinking of how they've treated us, protectors of the people, as evil...Makes me wanna show them how evil we can be. I no longer care for nor do I want a peaceful resolution or revolution...I want [drop of blood emoji.].” On December 30, 2020, Subleski wrote, “How much more f-----d up s---t gotta happen before the rest of you arm yourselves and armor up and join the resistance?” On January 5, 2021, Subleski posted to his Facebook account: “The only thing that has ever beaten tyranny was a sword or a rifles….DASSSSS IT. NOTHING ELSE! GETCHO RIFLE AND LET IT BANG AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.” On or about January 6, 2021, riots were occurring in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Subleski, posted in response to events occurring in the Nation’s capital, to a Facebook Account posts inciting, promoting, and encouraging a riot in Louisville, Kentucky. At 12:02 p.m. on January 6, 2021, Subleski posted to his Facebook account, “Those of you afraid to [B]OOG because “What if we die?” Well what if we f------g live? get out there, do something!” At 2:06 p.m. on January 6, 2021, Subleski posted to his Facebook account, “They storming the capital in DC and ya’ll can’t unit enough to storm the gov buildings here….smh I HATE IT.
At 3:24 p.m. on January 6, 2021, Subleski posted to his Facebook “OTTA YOUR HOMES AND INTO THE STREETS F---K THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLICE!!!!!!!! LETS GET THIS LUAU STARTED”.At 3:38 p.m. on January 6, 2021, Subleski posted to his Facebook, “Time to Storm LMPD.” On January 6, 2021, in a Signal chat with other members of the UPG, Subleski posted, “Holy s--t woman shot in capital. Ya’ll lets storm LMPD”. On January 6, 2021, in a Signal chat with other members of UPG, Subleski posted, “Everyone be armed and armored because s--t can go south quick and if it kicks off in one state then like dominos WE ALL BALL”.
At around 7:00 p.m. on January 6, 2021, rioters including UPG members surrounded a motorist at 2nd and W. Broadway attempting to drive around vehicles and individuals blocking the intersection. As a car drove on the sidewalk individuals approached the car to prevent it from turning on Broadway. A member of UPG pointed weapons at a driver in a car and damaged his vehicle with a metal trash can when the driver attempted to leave.
Thereafter, more than 20 persons, including Subleski, assembled at 2nd and Main Street closing traffic on main street and to and from Indiana on the 2nd Street Bridge and began rioting by engaging in acts of violence that constituted a clear and present danger and resulted in damage to the property. The assemblage pointed weapons and threatened motorists and damaged vehicles. Subleski participated in the rioting by inciting protestors, providing armed security, and ultimately firing his weapon, committing an act of violence in furtherance of a riot, endangering protestors in the line of fire after a motorist drove past the blocked intersection at 2nd and Main Street.
On January 7, 2021, Subleski posted to this Facebook, “ALL I WANN DO IS GO OUT [BOOGN] WITH THE SHOOTERS [WINK EMOJI] UPG/LOUIJIHADEEN”.
“I commend the FBI agents who investigated this matter and the prosecutors who worked alongside them to successfully prosecute the case,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett. “Individuals who incite riots and commit violent acts in violation of federal law, subjecting citizens to violence and fear, should know they will face swift investigation and prosecution in the Western District of Kentucky.”
“Mr. Subleski’s conviction and sentence underscore the FBI’s determination that when domestic violent extremists turn to mayhem and destruction, they will be brought to justice,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office. “Mr. Subleski is now a felon and will not be permitted to possess firearms. As a result, our community is safer. FBI Louisville will continue to work with our community, law enforcement, and prosecutorial partners to ensure our citizens’ rights and safety are protected.”
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Judd, Bryan Calhoun, and DOJ Trial Attorney Dmitry Slavin prosecuted the case.
Riot Act, 19 U.S.C. 2021 provides:
(a) Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, with intent—
(1) to incite a riot; or
(2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or
(3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or
(4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot;
and who either during the course of any such travel or use or thereafter performs or attempts to perform any other overt act for any purpose specified in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph— 1
Shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) In any prosecution under this section, proof that a defendant engaged or attempted to engage in one or more of the overt acts described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) 2 and (1) has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce, or (2) has use of or used any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including but not limited to, mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, to communicate with or broadcast to any person or group of persons prior to such overt acts, such travel or use shall be admissible proof to establish that such defendant traveled in or used such facility of interstate or foreign commerce.
(c) A judgment of conviction or acquittal on the merits under the laws of any State shall be a bar to any prosecution hereunder for the same act or acts.
(d) Whenever, in the opinion of the Attorney General or of the appropriate officer of the Department of Justice charged by law or under the instructions of the Attorney General with authority to act, any person shall have violated this chapter, the Department shall proceed as speedily as possible with a prosecution of such person hereunder and with any appeal which may lie from any decision adverse to the Government resulting from such prosecution.
(e) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to make it unlawful for any person to travel in, or use any facility of, interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of pursuing the legitimate objectives of organized labor, through orderly and lawful means.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to prevent any State, any possession or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia, from exercising jurisdiction over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section; nor shall anything in this section be construed as depriving State and local law enforcement authorities of responsibility for prosecuting acts that may be violations of this section and that are violations of State and local law.
Outcome: 07/27/2021 52 ORDER by Judge Beaton on 7/26/2021. The Court GRANTS the United States's motion for forfeiture of property (DN 45 ). cc: Counsel, USP (JM) (Entered: 07/27/2021)
07/27/2021 53 JUDGMENT and COMMITMENT ORDER by Judge Beaton on 7/27/2021 as to John Subleski (1): Count 1, TIME SERVED; 3 years S/R; $100 SPA. cc: counsel, Finance, USA (forfeiture) (JM) (Entered: 07/27/2021)