Alanna Durkin Richer, Associated Press, July 12, 2021
A Florida man who was part of a white supremacist prison gang when he served time for attempted murder pleaded guilty Monday to joining the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, and will be released from jail this week after serving six months for his role in the Jan. 6 riot.
Michael Curzio, who has been locked up since Jan. 14, is the first of more than 500 people charged with federal crimes in the Capitol attack to be sentenced to time behind bars. He was sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge, but gets credit for the time already served and will be released on Wednesday.
Prosecutors pointed to his criminal record to keep him behind bars after his January arrest even though he faced only misdemeanor charges in the riot. Authorities wrote in court documents that Curzio was part of a violent white supremacist gang called the Unforgiven when he was behind bars in Florida and has tattoos with Nazi imagery.
On Jan. 6, Curzio was part of a crowd near the door to the House atrium that refused orders to leave, authorities say. His attorney said Monday that his sentence was “harsher than it should have been” because of his criminal record.
“He didn’t attack anybody. He didn’t break anything. He was just walking around the building like a lot of other people were,” attorney A. Eduardo Balarezo said in an interview.