Buford man pleads guilty to Jan. 6 charge

Verden Andrew Nalley of Buford was charged with three felonies for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested Feb. 16 by the FBI and Gwinnett County sheriffs.
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Verden Andrew Nalley of Buford was charged with three felonies for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested Feb. 16 by the FBI and Gwinnett County sheriffs.

A Buford construction worker pleaded guilty Thursday before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to a misdemeanor charge that he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot.

Verden Andrew Nalley, 50, faces up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $9,500 for his illegal 30-minute tour of the Capitol’s rotunda and crypt.

“You knew it was a restricted building? And you knew you didn’t have permission or lawful authority to enter that building?” U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Nalley said.

In the hearing, Nalley identified himself as a native of Decatur with an eighth grade education. He works in construction and has been under GPS monitoring since he was granted bond after his arrest in mid-February.

When asked if he was pleading guilty because he was, in fact, guilty of the charge, Nalley said yes.

“I just want to put it behind me,” he said. “Yes, ma’am, I’m guilty of going into the Capitol.”

Nalley is scheduled to be sentenced March 10. Until then, he remains free on bond.

Surveillance footage and Nalley’s own social media posts following the riot left little doubt that he had entered the building. According to the plea agreement, Nalley attended the rally in support of President Donald Trump with Americus attorney William McCall Calhoun, after which the two men joined the throng of people who marched on the Capitol. He and Calhoun entered the Capitol around 2:20 p.m.

After the riot, Nalley boasted of his part in the chaos on MeWe.com, a social media site that markets itself as a Facebook alternative but has been popular with some extremists.

“The capital (sic) take over was planned I was there,” one of the posts unearthed by leftist activist group Atlanta Antifascists read. “We took it with no weapons and we will be back with guns in two weeks if that’s not fixed.”

Nalley had been photographed at an earlier “Stop the Steal” rally at the Georgia State Capitol alongside Calhoun.

He and Calhoun were charged as co-defendants in the Jan. 6 riot. Calhoun, who faces more serious felony charges related to his alleged conduct, is still in negotiations for a possible plea deal, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rozzoni.

Nalley is the second Georgian charged in the U.S. Capitol riot to plead guilty this week. On Wednesday, Johns Creek contractor Kevin Douglas Creek pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers during the riot. He faces between 24 and 30 months in prison. So far, four of the 15 Georgians charged in the Jan. 6 riot have entered guilty pleas.

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