West Virginia Guardsman Still Serving Long After Pleading Guilty to Jan. 6 Riot Charge

Insurrectionists try to open a door of the U.S. Capitol
In this Jan. 6, 2021 photo, insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump try to open a door of the U.S. Capitol as they riot in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

A Guardsman who pleaded guilty to a charge tied to participating in the mob that ransacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is still serving in the West Virginia Air National Guard, Military.com has learned.

Tech. Sgt. Jamie Lynn Ferguson is serving with the 130th Airlift Wing, based out of Charleston, West Virginia. She has spent the bulk of her career as a full-time Guardsman, according to copies of her military records reviewed by Military.com.

In July, she pleaded guilty to one count of willfully and knowingly parading, demonstrating and picketing in the Capitol building, court documents say, after initial charges were filed in May.

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Ferguson was originally set to be sentenced Friday, but it was postponed. Prosecutors requested the court sentence Ferguson to 30 days of home detention, two years' probation, 60 hours of community service, and $500 in restitution.

Senior Master Sgt. Eugene Crist, an Air Guard spokesperson, confirmed Ferguson's current service to Military.com and added that she has applied for retirement. Ferguson has served 20 years, based on her military records.

Ferguson was discharged from active service on Aug. 4, 2021, with an honorable status, a month after her guilty plea, but she is still serving part-time.

She was one of multiple Guardsmen who were part of the siege on the Capital, which aimed to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after President Joe Biden's 2020 victory. Yet the Guard has been slow to take action against service members, even after guilty pleas, with inconsistent decisions about their continued service.

Abram Markofski, an infantryman in the Wisconsin Guard, wasn't removed from service until a year after he was charged over his role in the riot and only after Military.com asked for comment from that state's governor. He continued to draw a paycheck and drill with his unit, which included training with firearms. That same month, Jacob Fracker was removed from the Virginia Guard, also long after his arrest.

Senior Guard officials, including Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, the director of the Army National Guard, and Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the Guard Bureau, have previously told Military.com that holding part-time troops accountable for actions they take off duty can get murky, at least before someone is convicted.

Ferguson was among the crowd at the so-called "Stop the Steal" rally, where then-President Donald Trump encouraged the crowd to march on the Capitol and stop the largely ceremonial certification of election results. She was dressed in a sweatshirt adorned with the phrase "Trump Girl" and stayed in the Capitol Rotunda area for 40 minutes, according to court records. Ferguson initially gained entry into the building as police were physically engaged and attacked by other rioters, leaving many entry points virtually unsecured.

In the days leading up to Jan. 6, Ferguson posted a picture on Facebook, according to court documents, depicting Mount Rushmore above the Capitol with a storm cloud, saying, "I pray this is exactly what DC will look like on Jan. 6th. #HoldTheLine."

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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