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Clients Did Not Expect Jail Time

  • Dan Wise is working with Capitol riot defendants approaching their trial dates.
  • Wise, a prison consultant, told Insider his clients have mostly been charged with misdemeanors.
  • He said they never expected to face serious punishments like time in jail.

A prison consultant working with Capitol-riot defendants told Insider that most of his clients were not expecting to face serious punishments like jail time.

Dan Wise, a federal prison consultant based in Palm Beach, Florida, said he’s spent the last few months helping people who have been charged in connection to the insurrection and are preparing for their upcoming trials.

The charges most of his clients face are mainly misdemeanors, such as parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, although some also face obstruction charges.

“A lot of them really thought nothing was going to happen,” Wise told Insider. “They were like: ‘No, this is going to get blown over. I just wanted to have a quick call with you to see what you thought.'”

“It’s not going to blow over. This is too public,” he said. “I’ve let them know that.”

Wise served 12 months at Coleman Federal Prison in Florida from 2014 to 2015 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs in Georgia.

After his release, Wise set up his own company, Federal Prison Time Consulting, to help people navigate the judicial and prison system. Wise has also recorded videos about prison life on his YouTube channel, RDAP Dan.

He said his consultancy saw an uptick of interest as the hundreds of Capitol-riot investigations began to unfold.

He told Insider he had spoken to more than 20 people who have been charged with insurrection-related crimes and is actively working with three of them. Insider has chosen not to publish their names to protect their privacy.

“Many of them are feeling really scared about it,” Wise said. “There is a big difference between people that showed up and the people that stormed the Capitol. Pretty much all of my clients are remorseful about what happened.” 

Many high-profile Capitol riot defendants have expressed remorse for joining the attack, including Thomas Sibick, who was accused of assaulting a Washington, DC, police officer, and Julia Sizer, who initially lied to investigators about her role in the attack.

Meanwhile, some other defendants, like Landon Kenneth Copeland, who is charged with assaulting police on the frontlines, said that they do not regret going.

Wise also briefly worked with the Texas realtor Jenna Ryan, who once said she wouldn’t be sent to jail for participating in the riot but was later sentenced to 60 days in a minimum-security prison in Texas.

The prison consultant stopped working with Ryan last year after he realized she wasn’t taking “any accountability for her actions,” he previously told Insider. 

As of last week, nearly 830 people have been charged in the insurrection.