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El Cajon man convicted for taking part in Jan. 6 US Capitol breach

Erik Herrera.jpg
Jose Luis Magana / AP
Erik Herrera from a still of the surveillance video from inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

An El Cajon man was convicted by a federal jury today for his part in the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Erik Herrera, 34, was found guilty by a jury in Washington, D.C., of one felony and four misdemeanors for joining the mob that entered the Capitol building.

The Department of Justice said that although Herrera is a photographer, he was not in the Capitol as a credentialed journalist and was wearing a press patch that was not issued by a media organization.

Prosecutors allege that on Jan. 7, he wrote on social media, "I don't have a monopoly on press badges. They're on Amazon for like $8...No special permission to buy."

He also posted a picture of himself inside the Senate Parliamentarian's office on social media. He was arrested in Los Angeles last year and is set to be sentenced this fall.

Herrera joins more than 860 people arrested across the country for crimes related to Jan. 6, including at least three San Diego County residents.

Earlier this year, former Coronado resident Jeffrey Alexander Smith was sentenced to a three-month prison term for taking part in the breach, while former Ocean Beach resident Philip James Weisbecker was sentenced to 30 days in custody.

Carlsbad resident James McGrew, who pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers at the Capitol, is slated to be sentenced in October.

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