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Former Kansas City-area Proud Boy member gets probation in Capitol riot case

Louis Enrique Colon, of Blue Springs, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of obstructing law enforcement during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Federal Charging Documents

Washington

A former Kansas City-area Proud Boy and former Blue Springs police officer accused of conspiring with others to break into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation followed by 24 months of supervised release.

Louis Enrique Colon, 47, the last of four local Proud Boys to be convicted in the case, must also pay $2,000 restitution for damage to the Capitol, which the government says totals more than $2.9 million.

Colon faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors sought two years of probation and $2,000 in restitution, saying he provided “substantial assistance” to authorities in the case.

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Colon’s sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly in Columbia came more than two years after he pleaded guilty to a civil charge of obstructing officers trying to secure the Capitol during the breach.

The plea agreement required him to cooperate with authorities in the investigation.

The government’s sentencing memorandum filed July 2 describes Colon as “a proud boy in the first degree” who “traveled to the capital region as part of a structured group prepared for violence.”

After he was charged in the case, the government said, “Colon has demonstrated an unusual degree of acceptance of responsibility, as highlighted in the government’s sealed filing that accompanies this memorandum.”

“Accordingly, he deserves a sentence that is substantially less than that imposed by the court on his co-defendants. … Colon’s decision to disassociate himself from the Proud Boys after the events of January 6 demonstrated an intention to avoid similar situations in the future, and his subsequent conduct has corroborated his commitment to that course.”

Colon was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2021 along with three other Kansas City-area Proud Boys — William Chrestman and Christopher Kuehne, of Olathe, and Ryan Ashlock, of Gardner — and siblings Cory and Felicia Konold of Tucson, Arizona.

The six men were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Chrestman was also accused of threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer and carrying a wooden ax handle into the Capitol building and onto the grounds.

Colon’s sentencing document included details about his actions before and during the Capitol attack. He participated in a planning discussion with other members of the Kansas City-area Proud Boys chapter, he said. The discussion focused primarily on logistics and discussions about radios, medical supplies and other tactical items, he said, but some members made clear they expected serious violence.

“Colon, for his part, did not discourage such sentiments, but neither did he openly embrace them,” the filing states.

Colon traveled to Virginia with other members of the group, he said, and they stayed at a rental property on Jan. 5, 2021.

“Colon had brought a handgun on the trip, but (like other members of his cohort who traveled with firearms) he left it in a vehicle and did not bring it to Washington, D.C.,” the sentencing document states. “Once they arrived in the D.C. metropolitan area, Colon and his co-defendants Ashlock and Kuehne went to a hardware store, where Colon purchased a modified axe handle that he could use as a walking stick and a weapon.”

On the morning of January 6, Colon and other Kansas City Proud Boys marched to the National Mall.

“Colon was wearing a backpack, a pocket knife, a tactical vest, tactical gloves, boots and a helmet with an orange ribbon, and other members of the group were similarly equipped,” the document states. “The tape was distributed by co-defendant Kuehne, who had purchased it the day before at the hardware store at Colon’s suggestion.”

As they headed to the mall, they encountered several people they invited to join them, including Felicia and Cory Konold. Colon’s group then encountered a group of about 100 Proud Boys who marched together from the Washington Monument to the Capitol.

At the Peace Circle, according to the sentencing document, they were part of the group that rushed forward after some members of the crowd pushed through police lines and headed toward Lower West Terrace.

“Colon remained on the west side of the Capitol for more than an hour as members of the mob fought with police and officers used crowd control measures, including projectiles and chemical irritants, to try to push back the increasingly violent mob,” he said. “Eventually, the mob reached the building and forced entry by breaking windows. Colon entered shortly after the initial intrusion.”

A group of rioters, including Colon and other members of the Kansas City Proud Boys, chased the officers out of the crypt, the filing said. As the officers fled, a large metal door began to lower from the ceiling. The officers retreated behind the door and tried to help it close, but the rioters fought to hold it open.

Protesters outside Colon threw a trash can at officers and tried to slide furniture into the doorway to prevent it from closing, the document said. The officers quickly relented and the crowd continued to advance.

“But members of the Kansas City Proud Boys group, with Colon making gestures of support, worked together to move a mobile podium into the path of the door, replacing a smaller chair that another rioter had placed there,” he said. Shortly after, Colon placed a chair into the path of another door in the area.

“Colon and other rioters then proceeded to the Capitol Visitor Center, following in the wake of fleeing police, and remained there for a short period of time until they learned that a shooting had occurred near the House floor, after which they returned to the Senate wing door and left the building,” the filing states.

Colon’s attorney, J.R. Hobbs of Kansas City, filed a sentencing brief on Colon’s behalf on July 2, saying his “remorse is sincere” and that his conduct on Jan. 6 “was an aberration in a life otherwise devoted to work, his wife and his family.”

Colon He worked for the Blue Springs Police Department from late 2003 until his resignation in 2006, a department official told the Star after his arrest. He has a journeyman license and is a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1464, according to his sentencing document.

Hobbs added that after the riot, Colon “withdrew from his brief association with the Proud Boys.”

“To be clear, Mr. Colon accepts responsibility for his conduct,” Hobbs wrote. “He did not harm anyone associated with the events of January 6th or attempt to harm anyone. Unfortunately, he held open a ‘garage-type door’ for others, but did not enter the building himself.”

“Mr. Colon understands that he must be punished for his actions. However, his punishment must be proportionate to the nature of the offense, as well as his history and his genuine acceptance of responsibility.”

Colon pleaded guilty in April 2022 to one count of civil disorder, a felony. A status report filed with the court last November requested that the court continue to delay setting a sentencing date because Colon’s “potential cooperation” in the case was “not yet complete.”

Chrestman, who prosecutors say was a key player in the riot, pleaded guilty in October to obstructing an official proceeding and threatening a federal officer, both felonies. He was sentenced in January to 55 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the Capitol.

Kuehne, a Marine Corps veteran who court records show has since moved to Arizona, pleaded guilty to obstructing law enforcement during a civil disturbance and was sentenced in February to 75 days in jail. He also received 24 months of supervised release, including 60 days of home detention, and was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

Ashlock was sentenced in November 2022 to 70 days in prison and 12 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor.

In November 2023, the Konolds pleaded guilty to obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and aiding and abetting. Felicia Konold was sentenced to 45 days in jail and 24 months of supervised release. Cory Konold was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of supervised release.

Colon’s sentencing document included six character reference letters sent to the judge by friends and family members who described Colon as a hard-working, responsible man and devoted father with no history of violence.

“After the January 6 incident, Enrique became very repentant of his involvement, even trying to persuade some members of the group with whom he had traveled to Washington, D.C., to leave the group that had organized the trip and participated in the event,” wrote his father, Louis E. Colon, a pastor in Rochester, New York.

Mindy Jamaleddin, who said she had known Colon for more than a decade, wrote that he called her from Washington after the riot and was “extremely upset.”

“He told me he made a mistake being there,” Jamaleddin said. “He told me it wasn’t what he thought it was. That the people he went with weren’t who he thought they were. He deeply regretted that day and every day after that he was there.”

Judy L. Thomas joined the Kansas City Star in 1995 and focuses on investigative and watchdog journalism. For more than three decades, she has covered domestic terrorism, clergy sexual abuse and government accountability. Her reporting has received numerous national awards.

Daniel Desrochers is the Star’s Washington correspondent. He covers Congress and the White House with a focus on politics and policy issues important to Kansas and Missouri. He previously covered politics and government for the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Charleston Gazette-Mail.