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Glens Falls man admits to role in Capitol riot, may get no prison time

GLENS FALLS — The Glens Falls man accused of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection has admitted his role in the incident in a plea deal that may include no prison time.

James Bonet pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia on Oct. 7 to the single count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, court documents show.

Bonet was among a group of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of incoming President Joe Biden.

Bonet posted videos of himself in the Capitol to his Facebook page saying “we’re taking it back” and a photo of him smoking what authorities say was a marijuana cigarette.

Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of no more than 6 months in prison and the possibility of no prison time, based upon his criminal history. Bonet was convicted in Glens Falls in 2014 for possession of marijuana and sentenced to 3 years of probation, court records show.

Prosecutors are also asking the judge to impose of fine in the range of $500 to $9,500. He also must pay restitution of $500 to the government. The U.S. Capitol had nearly $1.5 million in damage as a result of the riot, according to court documents.

Bonet had also been charged with multiple counts including violent entry and disorderly conduct in the Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building, but those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Final sentencing is up to the judge. Bonet is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10.

The plea agreement also contains more details about what Bonet did that day. Bonet entered the building through the Senate Wing door at around 3:09 p.m. As he approached the entrance, he said “(W)e made it in the building bitches! We’re taking it back! We are taking it back, we made it in the building,” court documents showed.

While inside, he walked into the office of U.S. Sen Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and smoked a marijuana cigarette. Video shows him saying “at the Capitol Building, smoking with all my people.”

He then left the office and continued into the circular room located below the Rotunda known as the Crypt before returning to the hallway back to the Senate Wing door. He exited the building at around 3:26 p.m., court documents showed.

Bonet could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or mgoot@poststar.com.

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