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More Than A Dozen People From Chicago Area Have Been Arrested In Connection With Capitol Insurrection, But Only One Has Been Sentenced To Jail Time

CHICAGO (CBS) -- More than 700 people have been arrested and charged in connection with the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol one year ago Thursday.

More than a dozen of those arrested came from the Chicago area - including a Chicago police officer.

So what has happened to them since, and ow many actually got jail time? CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey dug through federal records to find out.

Chicago Police Officer Karol Chwiesiuk, who worked in the Harrison (11th) District, has been on leave. He became infamous for photos of him inside the Capitol wearing a Chicago Police Department hoodie.

Karol Chwiesiuk
Chicago Police Officer Karol Chwiesiuk was charged with taking part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Prosecutors said he took selfies of himself wearing a hoodie featuring the CPD emblem. (Credit: U.S Attorney's Office)

Chwiesiuk's case is still pending, like many others. In fact, we could only find one Illinois resident so far who was actually sentenced to time behind bars.

Only a fraction — about 70 — of the more than 700 people charged so far in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection have been sentenced. And so far, the majority have been sentenced without having to spend a day in jail.

The only Illinois resident sentenced to jail time so far is Bradley Rukstales, who was sentenced to 30 days and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

Rukstales had been the chief executive officer of Schaumburg-based tech company Cogensia. He was fired by the company the same day he was hit with federal charges for his role in the riot.

Brad Rukstales
Brad Rukstales (Credit: CBS 2)

Rukstales, of Inverness, talked exclusively with CBS 2's Charlie De Mar the day after the insurrection.

"I had nothing to do with charging anybody or anything or doing any of that," he said. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I regret my part in that."

Rukstales is reporting to a federal prison in Michigan on Feb. 1.

As Capitol Police retreated down a flight of stairs that winter day, federal prosecutors said chairs tumbled down behind them. Rukstales is accused of throwing one of those chairs. He pleaded guilty to charges in August.

Only two other Illinois men have been sentenced - Douglas Wangler and Bruce J. Harrison, who each got two years of probation and are required to pay $500 in restitution.

"The reason I'm not surprised is because the law put the cap on the sentences available," said former federal prosecutor Steven Block.

Block explained that while the sentences might seem lenient, but they reflect the way the law works.

"The criminal trespass in this instance is probably one of the most serious in our nation's history," he said. "It is a form of criminal trespass under the law, so the sentences available to these defendants are what the law allows and nothing more."

We did some digging and discovered there are at least 12 defendants from the area who have their cases still pending. Block wasn't surprised by that either — he said the cases take time and evidence of a selfie inside the Capitol isn't enough to expedite the process.

Federal court records show Dawn Frankowski of Naperville and David Wiersma of Posen have a status conference next month.

Dawn Frankowski
(Credit: CBS 2)
Dave Wiersma
Dave Wiersma

So does Marcos Gleffe of Elk Grove Village, and Kevin James Lyons, who was arrested in Chicago. Lyons is accused of entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office after breaching the Capitol.

Marcos Gleffe
(via Facebook)

Kash Lee Kelly of Hammond, Indiana goes before a judge on Jan 21.

Suspect Kash Lee Kelly
(Credit: CBS)

Lawrence Ligas' case is still pending. He was just arrested last month in Chicago.

Lawrence Ligas Criminal Complaint Photo
(Credit: FBI)

Christian Kulas of Winnetka, and his brother, Mark Kulas Jr., both took a plea deal. They will be sentenced on March 7.

Christian Kulas
(Credit: CBS 2/FBI)

Amy and John Schubert of Crest Hill pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in February.

Amy and John Schubert
A Facebook photo of Amy and John Schubert helped federal agents link them to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 2021. (Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office)

Meanwhile, an Aurora man, James Robert Elliott, was just arrested on Dec. 21. He was charged with attacking police officers with a flagpole.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Officer Chwiesiuk was on "medical leave" on the day of the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"This officer is one of those officers never should have hired," Brown said at the time of Chwiesiuk's arrest in June.

Chwiesiuk had a status hearing just last week.

On Thursday, Chicago Police said Officer Chwiesiuk is "inactive" and has been on a leave of absence since Aug. 11. That means he is not currently getting paid.

For all the Capitol riot defendants, the harshest sentence went to Robert Scott Palmer of Florida, who was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for attacking officers with a wooden plank and a fire extinguisher.

Here is a list of the status of greater Chicago area defendants in the Capitol riot:

Dawn Frankowski:
Arrested in Naperville
Case pending — next proceeding on Feb. 18.

David Wiersma:
Picked up in Posen.
This is a joint case with Dawn Frankowski
Wiersma is allowed to travel within 100 miles of his home for work purposes without prior notification to the Pretrial Services Agency. He also has a status conference on Feb. 18.

Officer Karol J. Chwiesiuk:
Arrested in Chicago
Case pending
He had a status hearing last week.

Marcos Gleffe:
Arrested in Elk Grove Village
Arraigned and pleaded not guilty to all counts on Dec. 10.
Status Conference set for Feb. 11.

Kash Lee Kelly:
Arrested in Hammond, Indiana
He had a pending drug case, and the judge used his involvement in the Capitol Riot against him.
This case was moved to D.C. federal court from Northern Indiana
Kelly's preliminary hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 21.

Lawrence Ligas:
Arrested Dec. 1 in Chicago

Christian Kulas:
Arrested in Winnetka.
He agreed to a plea deal. The agreement states that the charges carry a maximum sentence of six months of imprisonment and a fine of not more than $5,000 – though he could get less than that.
Sentencing is set for March 7.

Mark Kulas Jr.::
Brother of Christian Kulas, also from Winnetka.
Sentencing set for March 7.

Kevin James Lyons:
Arrested in Chicago
A plea of not guilty has been entered, and he is due in court by videoconference on Feb. 11.

Amy and John Schubert:
Both arrested in Crest Hill on July 26.
Plea agreement entered Dec. 3. Sentencing is set for Feb. 17.

Douglas Wangler:
From downstate Danville, transferred to D.C. federal court.
Sentenced to two years of probation, $500 restitution, and $10 special assessment on Dec. 16.

Bruce J. Harrison:
From downstate Danville. Also sentenced to two years of probation, $500 restitution, and $10 special assessment.

James Robert Elliott:
Arrested in Aurora. Next court date not available.

Brad Rukstales:
From Inverness; arrested in Washington, D.C.
Pleaded guilty and sentenced to 30 days in prison, $500 restitution, and $10 special assessment.

David Fitzgerald:
From Roselle. Court details not available.

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