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Jan. 6 defendant known as zip-tie guy sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison


A Tennessee man dubbed “zip-tie guy” on social media was sentenced Friday to nearly five years in prison in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Eric Munchel of Nashville to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, the Justice Department said in a news release. Munchel, 32, was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

Munchel and his mother, Lisa Marie Eisenhart, 59, were seen in photos and videos wearing tactical gear and carrying plastic zip tie-style handcuffs that were allegedly stolen from a closet in the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

Munchel’s mother was also sentenced Friday, to 30 months in prison.

Attorneys for Munchel and Eisenhart did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.

According to the news release, Lamberth said during the sentencing hearing that the defendants’ statements and actions made clear that “they stole the flexi-cuffs and carried them into the Senate gallery because they intended to take senators hostage, if possible. Luckily, all of the senators and their staffs had already evacuated.”

Prosecutors alleged that Munchel and Eisenhart spotted the restraints en route to the Senate gallery, with Munchel saying, “Zip ties! I need to get me some of them motherf—ers,” according to video footage.

Eisenhart and her son were found guilty in April in D.C. federal court of felonies that included conspiracy to commit obstruction and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Munchel was convicted of two additional felonies related to his unauthorized possession of a Taser that was holstered on his hip as he and his mother pushed past police lines and made their way to the Senate Gallery musing aloud about the whereabouts of lawmakers, with Munchel shouting, “I want that f—–g gavel!” prosecutors alleged. The pair spent roughly 12 minutes inside the Capitol building, according to court papers.

More than 1,100 people have been charged for crimes related to the Capitol riot, according to the Justice Department.

Earlier this week, former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison on a seditious conspiracy charge — the longest sentence to be handed down in a Jan. 6 case, exceeding the 18 years for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was also found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.