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Delco man turned in by his coworkers pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges

Lawrence Stackhouse, of Chester, told a judge he stormed the Capitol along with an employee of a Philadelphia strip club and a BMW salesman from South Jersey.

A photograph Lawrence Earl Stackhouse III (right) posted to Telegram showing himself at the Jan. 6, 2021, Trump rally in Washington before the storming of the Capitol building.
A photograph Lawrence Earl Stackhouse III (right) posted to Telegram showing himself at the Jan. 6, 2021, Trump rally in Washington before the storming of the Capitol building.Read moreJustice Department Court Filings

A Delaware County man whose vociferous support of President Donald Trump at work prompted his coworkers to turn him in to the FBI is facing up to six months behind bars after pleading guilty Friday to Capitol riot charges.

Lawrence Earl Stackhouse III, 34, of Chester, told a federal judge that he illegally entered the Capitol, took photos, and wandered into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office as hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Don’t regret one thing,” he messaged a friend the day after the attack. “F — the government.”

Though prosecutors have not identified where Stackhouse worked, they have said at least two of his coworkers helped pick him out of Capitol surveillance footage based on the distinctive Trump beanie and Proud Boys T-shirt he wore that day.

Appearing by videoconference Friday before U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell in Washington, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of illegally parading, demonstrating, or picketing inside the building and joined the ranks of the more than 20 Pennsylvanians to admit playing a role in the insurrection.

» READ MORE: 62 Pennsylvanians have been charged in the Capitol riot. A year later, judges are starting to weigh their punishments.

Nationally, more than 730 people have been charged in what the Justice Department has described as the largest investigation in its history.

Stackhouse told the judge that despite his choice of attire on the day of the riot, he is not a member of the Proud Boys, a militant far-right organization whose top leadership the Justice Department has accused along with members of groups such as the Oath Keepers and the 3 Percenters of helping to organize the attack.

“I don’t support them after [knowing] what they are about,” Stackhouse told the judge.

» READ MORE: First Amendment can’t protect Philly Proud Boys head Zach Rehl from trial on Capitol riot charges, a judge rules

Still, in text messages quoted in court filings, Stackhouse expressed excitement at the prospect of joining up with the Proud Boys once he reached Washington. He had previously been reprimanded at work for his identification with an unspecified “hate group,” according to an FBI affidavit filed in his case.

A week before the riot, he messaged a friend, Rachel Myers — a 33-year-old employee of Delilah’s Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse in South Philadelphia — saying he planned to attend the rally Trump was hosting near the White House along with a man he identified as a Proud Boys prospect.

“Love it! Love me some PBs,” Myers responded. When she said she, too, was planning to be in Washington and was eager to fight with counterprotesters, Stackhouse offered to bring her a knife.

Myers, 33, of Port Richmond, and another man who traveled to Washington with her and Stackhouse — Michael Gianos, 33, of Marlton, — were charged in December based on text messages gathered from Stackhouse’s phone after his arrest last year. Gianos and Stackhouse had previously participated together in protests over New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s pandemic shutdown orders at the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr.

Surveillance footage from the Capitol shows them and Myers among the throngs of people pushing their way into the Senate Wing doors. With Stackhouse in his Proud Boys shirt and Myers carrying a Delilah’s backpack, they milled about the Rotunda and briefly entered Pelosi’s office.

“I was there … Stormed Nancy’s office,” Gianos messaged a friend later that day. “I watched them take her laptop.”

Pelosi has acknowledged that rioters stole a laptop from her office, and Riley June Williams, a 23-year-old former home health care aide from Harrisburg, has been charged with the theft, though she has denied the allegation and is awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, text messages show that in the days after Jan. 6, Stackhouse, Myers, and Gianos ping-ponged between reveling in their participation in the riot, convincing themselves that antifa was behind the attack, and fretting over whether the FBI would soon show up at their doors.

When someone texted Myers a photo of her on Capitol grounds with her Delilah’s backpack that was circulating on social media, Stackhouse reached out.

“Hey. You good? We are legit PIC [partners in crime]” he wrote. He added later: “There’s a Delilah’s in AC [Atlantic City] too soooo that helps.”

Myers and Gianos have pleaded not guilty to charges including entering a restricted area, disruptive conduct, and parading, picketing, and demonstrating on Capitol grounds.

Stackhouse’s plea agreement did not contain a provision requiring him to testify, if needed, against them. And he must wait until his sentencing in May to find out whether he will spend time behind bars.

So far, 13 Pennsylvanians have been sentenced for participation in the Capitol attack after pleading guilty to similar misdemeanor charges. Their punishments have ranged from two months incarceration to a $500 fine.