New London man to serve 30 days in prison for Jan. 6 role
Former EB engineer had ‘secret’ security clearance
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a 25-year-old New London man and former Electric Boat engineer to 30 days in federal prison for his role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Jeremy K. Baouche, who authorities said believed the results of the 2020 election to be fraudulent, was captured in photographs and video taken from inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 holding a microphone and chanting “whose house,” with others responding “our house.” Other chants he led included “(expletive) McConnell” a reference to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and “you serve us, not them.”
Authorities said at the time Baouche participated in the riot at the Capitol he was working at EB and had a “secret” security clearance.
Baouche was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper in Washington. In addition to the prison sentence, Baouche was ordered to serve a term of two years of supervised release. He had pleaded guilty in August to the misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Baouche was among hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump who had descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 to disrupt a joint session of Congress being held to count electoral votes and formalize Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
Hundreds of people, including several from Connecticut, have been charged for their participation in what federal authorities say was “a violent attack that forced an interruption of Congress’ certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election, injured more than 100 police officers and resulted in more than $2.8 million in losses.”
Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing memorandum, recommended a 30-day prison sentence for Baouche along with 60 hours of community service, 36 months of probation and $500 in restitution.
Prosecutors said Baouche entered the upper West Terrace doors of the Capitol on Jan. 6 while the alarms were sounding, remained in the building for 17 minutes and used a megaphone to “rile up the crowd.” There are photos of Baouche in the Capitol rotunda with a megaphone.
“The Court must also consider that Baouche’s conduct on January 6, like the conduct of scores of other defendants, took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm police, breach the Capitol, and disrupt the proceedings,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan T. Lehr wrote in a memorandum.
The case was investigated by a Norwich Police detective assigned as a task force officer with the FBI. During an interview with the FBI, Baouche said he traveled to D.C. to attend a rally and his motivation was “because he believed the election results were fraudulent,” authorities said.
Investigation by the FBI into Baouche’s internet searches on a work computer at EB turned up search topics that included “inauguration, the U.S. Capitol building layout, guns, rifle scopes, lasers, Trump protests, and FBI Capitol,” authorities said.
He had also purchased the megaphone prior to his trip to Washington, D.C. His defense attorney, Daniel M. Erwin, claims those internet searches came after he returned from the Capitol.
While Baouche admitted knowing it was unlawful to enter the Capitol, authorities said he told investigators he “believed the adrenaline rush of being in the building had hampered his decision-making abilities.”
Baouche had no previous criminal history. In his defense, Erwin said Baouche acknowledges he broke the law and is remorseful about it. He described Baouche in a sentencing memorandum as “unfailingly polite but, nonetheless, intense and serious in nearly every observation he shares.”
Baouche was politically active, with views his attorney said had crystallized around a particular political podcast, which is not named in the court memorandum. He continued to engage online and attended events associated with the 2020 presidential election in December 2020.
“In the months leading up to January 6, 2021, Jeremy Baouche was a young man who was finding social outlets that matched his way of thinking and passions,” Erwin wrote, noting that Baouche was just 23 years old at the time.
“This offense is about the toxic combination of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing and people concluding that their intensely held beliefs justify their actions,” Erwin wrote.
Erwin had asked the court for a period of probation and restitution. Baouche lost his job at EB but is working as an engineer at “another large Connecticut defense contractor,” Erwin said.
“To the extent he attempts to explain what he was thinking at the time it was that the barricades had fallen and a crowd was pouring into the Capitol, he rationalized that this meant entering at this time was an act of political expression rather than a criminal act,” Erwin wrote in his memorandum.
Baouche has since admitted his conduct was wrong. Erwin called Baouche’s behavior a “deviation from the otherwise earnest young man looking for a political identity among many other young people.”
“He regrets that he let his passions override his usually staid approach for something that was not only immature but dangerous,” Erwin wrote.