WASHINGTON — A man who stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack and dubbed himself the “Doobie Smoker” on social media after he smoked marijuana in the rotunda was sentenced to two years’ probation Thursday.
Federal prosecutors had pushed for Eduardo Nicolas Alvear Gonzalez, whom the government described as a “self-employed social media influencer,” to be sentenced to three months in jail, arguing that his frequent self-promotion and public statements describing the riot as “beautiful” raised serious concerns about his respect for the rule of law.
“He hasn’t shown remorse,” prosecutor Anne Veldhuis said at a sentencing hearing. “He has repeatedly mischaracterized and glorified the events of January 6.”
Gonzalez had already spent about 45 days in jail after his arrest, and U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper indicated Thursday that the time he had served factored into the decision to issue a sentence of probation.
Gonzalez spent about 30 minutes inside the Capitol and was recorded saying he was smoking marijuana in the Capitol for “freedom.” He has also described rioters as “American patriots.”
His decision to smoke weed in the Capitol rotunda “underscores his somewhat flippant and cavalier attitude about what was happening that day,” Veldhuis argued.
A previous attorney for Gonzalez argued in a court filing that Gonzalez is remorseful, regrets entering the Capitol and now “believes he and others were tools used by others to attack the Capitol." That having been being said, the attorney wrote, "he also feels that he has a right to express his views on the election result and respond to criticisms and characterizations he feels are unwarranted."
Jason Hannan, who became Gonzalez’s attorney in January, highlighted that Gonzalez had no criminal history. “He’s 33 years old. He’s a father. That’s a long time to be an adult without any issues,” Hannan said in court.
Cooper said: “He’s calling himself the ‘Capitol Doobie Smoker’ online. His handle is ‘Brotunda.’ That’s not just expressing a political view.”
The FBI has arrested more than 750 people in connection with the attack on Jan. 6, 2021. Over 2,500 people are believed to have either unlawfully entered the building or committed crimes outside.
More than 200 people have already been sentenced in connection with the riot, with sentences from probation to more than five years in prison for Robert Scott Palmer, a Florida man who attacked officers with a fire extinguisher and was identified by online sleuths.