Breaking News
More () »

Kansas Proud Boy pleads guilty, agrees to cooperate in Capitol riot prosecutions

Ryan Ashlock avoided multiple felony charges Tuesday with a guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted area.

WASHINGTON — A Kansas man who traveled to D.C. with a group of other Proud Boys on Jan. 6 avoided multiple felony charges Tuesday in a plea deal.

Ryan Ashlock was one of six alleged members of the group charged in February 2021. They were indicted that same month on multiple felony counts, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and obstruction of law enforcement. One of Ashlock’s co-defendants, William Chrestman, of Olathe, Kansas, is also accused of threatening a federal officer.

In addition to Chrestman, the group included another Olathe resident, Christopher Kuehne, brother and sister Felicia and Cory Konold, of Arizona, and Louis Enrique Colon, of Blue Springs, Missouri. Colon pleaded guilty in April to a felony charge of civil disorder.

According to Ashlock’s statement of offense, he and other members of the group coordinated to bring two-way radios and weapons and to conceal their identities on Jan. 6. In multiple previous court filings, prosecutors have said Proud Boys were instructed not to wear the group’s usual black-and-yellow colors. Instead, Proud Boys – including members of Ashlock’s group – are alleged to have worn orange tape on their helmets and arms to identify themselves to others.

Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during the Capitol riot, testified before the January 6th Committee last week that when Proud Boys wearing orange tape showed up at the front lines “things started turning.”

"Once they joined that group, [Proud Boys leader] Joseph Biggs' rhetoric started turning toward Capitol police," Edwards said. "He said stuff like, 'You didn't miss a paycheck during the pandemic.' Our pay scale was mentioned. He started turning the table on us.”

Ashlock said he brough a handgun with him on the trip, but did not bring it into D.C. He said co-defendant Kuehne, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who retired as a captain, also brought “two AR-15 or similar assault rifles” on the trip, but left them in his vehicle and also did not bring them into D.C.

Once at the Capitol, according to his statement of offense, Ashlock – in body armor and a filtered breathing mask – attempted to prevent officers from pushing a barricade forward and was sprayed with chemical irritant. He left the grounds a short time later, but texted a family member, “F{xxx] all these p[xxx]y liar politicians. Trump should have them all executed.” A few days after the riot, Ashlock sent a message saying, “American needs a civil war. The government can’t win one and the resto f the world goes into chaos with us.”

Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds is a Class “A” misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison – however other riot defendants who’ve pleaded guilty to the same charge have received sentences ranging from 75 days in prison to 24 months of probation. Prosecutors estimated Ashlock will face a recommended sentencing guideline of 0-6 months behind bars when he goes before U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Nov. 10.

Ashlock is the latest member of the Proud Boys to plead guilty to criminal charges in connection with the Capitol riot. In December, New York Proud Boy Matthew Greene became the first member of the group to agree to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a guilty plea to two felony counts of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. In April, North Carolina Proud Boy Charles Donohoe pleaded guilty to felony counts of obstructing an official proceeding and assaulting a federal officer. Donohoe, who also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, was a co-defendant in the case where five Proud Boys – including former chairman Enrique Tarrio – are now facing charges of seditious conspiracy.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

Before You Leave, Check This Out