Hammond man facing federal drug sentence charged in Capitol breach

A Northwest Indiana man charged with participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol could face trial in Washington on misdemeanor counts. The man had been awaiting sentencing in a separate case involving gang-related drug conspiracy charges.

Kash Lee Kelly, 32, of Hammond, appeared Thursday before a federal magistrate judge to face charges of illegal entry into a restricted federal building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He could face more than six months in prison if convicted, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. The Times said Kelly was accused of scaling the walls of the Capitol building and illegally entering it on Jan. 6.

Kelly has been in federal detention since his arrest last week in Indiana.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich said he would order Kelly returned to Washington after Kelly is sentenced next month on federal drug conspiracy charges that predate the Jan. 6 riot.

The FBI has alleged Kelly can be seen in images taken during the riot standing on the pedestal of a statue inside the building, waving an American flag outside and giving an interview afterward in the street about the mob that stormed the building.

Kelly is due to be sentenced Feb. 11 on the drug conspiracy charges alleging he participated in a violent drug-dealing conspiracy by the Latin Kings street gang between 2003 and 2017. Prosecutors have recommended a 51-month sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2017 to distributing narcotics and marijuana.

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