A Virginia rapper who posed on the Capitol steps during the protests of January 6th, 2020, has been sentenced to five months in prison.
Antionne DeShaun Brodnax, who goes by the stage name “Bugzie the Don,” was charged with multiple misdemeanor counts after posing on top of a SWAT vehicle at the Capitol on the day of the now infamous events. He used the photo as the cover of his album, “The Capital.”
— BUGZIE THE DON x THE CAPITAL ON ALL PLATFORMS!! (@BUGZIETHEDON) March 1, 2021
Brodnax says he was in the area that day to shoot a video. As the rally intensified, the independent rapper decided to head towards the action in hopes of capturing video and photos.
Antionne DeShaun Brodnax aka ‘Bugzie the Don’ reportedly told investigators that he was only in the area to shoot a video — and he went to the Capitol after noticing Trump’s Stop the Steal rally and seeing hordes of supporters heading toward the building.
Brodnax claims he followed them because he wanted to take photos and video.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brodnax was charged with four misdemeanors:
- Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
- Disorderly conduct in any Restricted Building or Grounds
- Violent Entry
- Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds.
Brodnax was arrested back in March of 2021 after the release of his album. At the time, Yahoo News reported that he’d been accused of entering the building, a charge he denied.
The rapper said he spent about 40 minutes walking around inside the Capitol building taking “pictures and videos of the architecture,” according to court documents. He denies entering any offices or chambers, stealing, or participating in violence.
He is seen on video asking a woman to take a picture of him sitting on the base of a statue of agronomist Norman Borlaug inside the National Statuary Hall. Friends reportedly contacted Brodnax while was inside the Capitol building and said they spotted him on a CNN broadcast.
“Brodnax followed the crowd to the United States Capitol Building and entered the building after United States Capitol Police moved the gates that blockaded the door,” the affidavit said.
The Justice Department asked for a sentencing enhancement that would have led to at least a 21-month sentence, asserting the artist deleted videos and photos from his phone after agreeing to forward them to federal authorities. They also pointed to Brodnax’s previous criminal history, one that includes charges for manufacturing a controlled substance, felony firearm possession, and probation violation. Federal authorities also claim he presented a litany of “disciplinary” issues while in custody.
Brodnax was sentenced to five months in prison and ordered to pay a $70 special assessment and $500 in restitution.