Michigan man sentenced to 51 months in prison for role in Jan. 6 capital riots

WASHINGTON D.C.  – Matthew Krol, 64, of Linden, Michigan, was sentenced on Friday (Dec. 15) to 51 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras for his role in the Jan 6. riots at the nation's capital. 

According to documents for the US Justice Department, Krol pleaded guilty on Aug. 15, 2023, to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon, a felony.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Krol—a self-professed executive officer of the Genesee County, Michigan Volunteer Militia and associate of the Wolverine Watchmen, an extremist group comprised of individuals convicted in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—joined the storming of the police line on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds, stole a police baton from an officer by pulling the officer in circles before wrestling it away, and celebrated his conduct by holding the baton in the air.

Krol then used that same police baton to strike at least three police officers, badly injuring the right hand of a U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant.

"Krol traveled to Washington, D.C., from his home in Michigan to attend the 'Stop the Steal' rally and afterward made his way to the U.S. Capitol building, where he eventually found himself facing off with a line of police officers on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds," the Justice Department said. "Court documents say that Krol was one of the most active instigators in the violent clash between police and rioters that ultimately forced officers to retreat from the West Plaza."

According to the Justice Department, prior to his attack on police, at about 2:28 p.m., Krol pushed forward through the crowd of rioters on the West Plaza and threw a water bottle at police. He then physically attacked the line of police officers several times.

Shortly after, at about 2:29 p.m., US Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell was assisting another officer who had fallen to the ground when "Krol approached, raised the stolen baton, and violently struck downward on the Sergeant Gonell’s outstretched bare right hand with the police baton. As a result of the attack, Sergeant Gonell experienced significant injuries to his hand," Justice Department officials said. 

Krol was arrested on Feb. 22, 2022, in Michigan.

In the 35 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,230 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

Krol's actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov

Share this article: