After cutting a deal with federal prosecutors, Minot native Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, who faced charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, pleaded guilty Friday before a federal judge to a misdemeanor of demonstrating inside the Capitol.

Simon, 30, could be imprisoned for up to six months and pay a fine of up to $5,000. His sentencing is slated for January.

Simon, who was arrested in Georgia in May, posted video and photographs of himself inside the Capitol alongside hundreds of rioters seeking to overturn the results of last November’s presidential election.

Simon is among the first of at least 638 defendants to admit his guilt on federal charges in connection to the mayhem at the Capitol that caused members of Congress to flee and saw scores of police officers injured as they tried to hold back an unruly crowd that sought to keep President Donald Trump in office despite his defeat at the polls two months earlier.

After departing the building that day, Simon posed on the steps just outside beside a child wearing an eagle mask and then posted the snapshot on Facebook, calling it a post-victory picture “after a running through of the capitol building.”

“Feel like I took about 50 bong rips of pepper spray today,” he added.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that during a 45-minute teleconference hearing Friday, Simon initially claimed he couldn’t recall much about the day.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell pressed him on it, asking him about boasts he made about going “straight to Congress” to prevent its certification of the results showing Joe Biden had defeated Trump in the election last November.

Simon said in response that he didn’t know Congress was even in session and claimed that he had been invited into the building.

When Simon spoke with the Sun Journal soon after the chaos at the Capitol, he made clear that he knew what the “absolutely grimy, disgusting monsters” in Congress were doing that day and hoped to show support for Trump, though at the time he insisted he had stayed outside the building.

The Atlanta paper said that Howell read from court papers that Simon was recorded saying at the time, “Did they invite us in? (Expletive) no, they didn’t.”

The paper said the judge was “irritated by Simon’s reluctance to admit what was behind his conduct.”

“He says he doesn’t know. He was invited in and he was wandering around with a bunch of other people,” the paper quoted the judge saying. “Should I be expecting a guilty plea?”

After the quizzing by the judge, Simon conferred with his attorney and pulled back from his assertion he’d been invited in.

“That was a poor choice of words,” he said, according to the Atlanta paper. “I was just with the other protesters and was just going in.”

Simon, who attended Poland Regional High School before moving to Georgia and establishing a successful tree removal business, told the judge he didn’t know what he meant by the words he said Jan. 6.

“I was just talking. Just saying stuff,” Simon said, according to the Atlanta paper.

He admitted that his entry into the Capitol with the crowd was “election-related,” the paper said, and accepted guilt clearly enough to satisfy Howell.

The judge allowed him to remain free until his sentencing.

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