Judge rejects Capitol riot suspect’s request to sell guns in Georgia

Credit: Jason Andrew/The New York Times

Credit: Jason Andrew/The New York Times

A federal judge has denied the bond modification request of a former south Georgia police officer to possess and sell firearms while he awaits trial for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Michael Shane Daughtry faces several misdemeanor charges for allegedly entering restricted areas of the Capitol grounds and interfering with Congress as lawmakers certified the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Daughtry had been under home confinement and GPS monitoring while awaiting trial, but in a federal court hearing Wednesday, he asked to be allowed to possess, repair and sell guns. Prior to the attack, Daughtry had run a gun business out of his home in Pelham, which his attorney said was his only source of income.

“Without that he has potentially no income to provide for himself,” said Jose Alejandro German, Daughtry’s public defender. “These are conditions that are really impacting his life.”

It’s not the first time the former Pelham and Cordele police officer had asked for changes to his bond conditions. Originally, Judge Randolph Moss ordered Daughtry to wear an ankle monitor to ensure he was abiding by the terms of his release, but Daughtry had said the monitor interfered with his diabetes. Moss altered the order to require Daughtry to check in with authorities on his landline, but rejected his request to sell firearms in an order filed hours after the Wednesday hearing.

Prosecutors have argued many of those arrested be held without bond on grounds that they are a danger to the community. Others are out on bond but are on house arrest and electronically monitored.

Daughtry is charged with entering restricted areas outside the Capitol, including climbing the scaffolding that had been erected for President Joe Biden’s inaugural. The charges are misdemeanors, although prosecutor Graciela Rodriguez Lindberg suggested they could be upgraded to felonies as the investigation continues.

Lindberg argued against allowing Daughtry access to guns, pointing to social media comments “that were concerning to the government.”

The comments included a Facebook post for his home gun business offering to sell assault rifles and ammunition ahead of the November general election. “It may be your last chance if the election don’t go right tomorrow,” he allegedly wrote.

In another post, he offered to sell “anti-liberal bullets.”

While Lindberg said the posts imply Daughtry was encouraging customers “to shoot people whose views do not correspond to his,” German said they were simply advertisements.

Judges in other cases involving Georgia defendants have overruled prosecution requests to keep defendants in jail or under strict house arrest.

Americus attorney William McCall Calhoun Jr. and 18-year-old Milton resident Bruno Cua, both charged with entering the Capitol, were initially held without bond, but successfully appealed and have been released on home confinement. Others, like Woodstock nurse Lisa Marie Eisenhart and Georgia native Cleveland Grover Meredith, have asked to be released on bond but so far remain jailed.