A National Guardsman who was part of the mob that rampaged through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been sentenced to probation and a fine for his actions, but will avoid jail time, court records show. His state says he's still in the Guard.
Pfc. Abram Markofski, who serves in Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment, a National Guard unit based in River Falls, Wisconsin, was sentenced in federal court Dec. 10 to two years of probation and $1,500 in fines and restitution on one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Markofski pleaded guilty to the one charge – out of a total of four similar charges – in September as part of a plea agreement. Federal prosecutors had asked the court to impose a two-week prison sentence.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin National Guard confirmed that Markofski was still serving with the Guard, writing in an email that "there has not been a change to his status."
The spokesperson, Maj. Gretel Weiskopf, cited privacy regulations when asked for more details about Markofski, including whether he was part of the mission to secure the Capitol after it was overrun by rioters. Markofski's unit was part of the Guard's massive response to the events of that day.
"Any details into his status within the Wisconsin National Guard will not be disclosed to protect his privacy," Weiskopf told Military.com in an email Wednesday.
Military.com reached out to Markofski's lawyers for comment but did not receive a response.
In the run-up to his sentencing, several of the Guardsman's colleagues and leaders wrote statements vouching for his character and asking the court not to impose a punishment that would keep him from continuing his service.
"In my professional opinion as one of his mentors, and as a witness of PFC Markofski's moral character, I truly believe that he is an asset to the United States Army," 2nd Lt. Joel Stevenson, Markofski's platoon leader, said in a letter filed with the court.
Markofski's case is an example of the slow pace at which the military branches have been addressing members who face legal action for their actions on Jan. 6.
Cpl. Jacob Fracker, an infantryman with the Virginia Guard who is also facing charges stemming from the riot, is in a non-drilling status but hasn't been removed from the service component.
Marine Corps Maj. Christopher Warnagiris, who was arrested in May, had a hearing at the end of September in which he had to argue his case for staying in the service, according to Capt. Ryan Bruce, a spokesman for the Marine Corps. He is still on active duty, and the recommendations from that hearing are currently with the deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs before they are sent to the secretary of the Navy for consideration, Bruce said.
Furthermore, the tepid reaction to these allegations and convictions stands in sharp contrast to the speed that the military often employs for infractions of its own policies. For example, soldiers who are caught with marijuana in their system are supposed to be dismissed from service immediately, according to Army regulations.
-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.