A Beavercreek man who advanced conspiracy theories about the 2020 election was sentenced Monday for discharging a firearm into the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in downtown Portland in January.
Cody Levi Melby, 40, was sentenced to five years’ federal probation.
“Cody Melby is a disabled combat veteran who, after becoming detached from his mental health support system, made an extraordinarily poor and dangerous decision to fire a gun at the Hatfield Courthouse,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting U.S. attorney for Oregon. “Fortunately, nobody was injured during this incident.”
Asphaug said the sentence will ensure Melby “receives the treatment he needs while also protecting the community.”
Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, commended the work of state and federal partners in resolving what he called a “troubling incident.”
“When appropriate, we are always looking for ways to divert people away from violence and direct them toward rehabilitation,” Ramsey said. “In many cases, this happens out of the public eye, but in a situation like this one, we want to highlight that a holistic response is sometimes more effective.”
Prosecutors alleged that at approximately 7:35 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2021, Melby jumped over a security fence at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and fired several rounds into the building’s exterior with a 9 mm handgun.
Two courthouse security officers exited the building and approached Melby after observing him on a closed-circuit security camera. Melby told the officers he had a gun and the officers placed him in handcuffs without further incident.
Federal Protective Service officers dispatched to the scene located five spent 9 mm bullet casings, three spent bullets, three bullet holes in plywood affixed to the building’s stone columns and damage to the metal soffit above the building’s main entrance.
After his arrest, Melby was charged by criminal complaint with destruction of government property. Later, on Jan. 21, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a one-count indictment charging Melby with possession of a firearm in a federal facility. On Oct. 14, 2021, Melby pleaded guilty to the charge.
Melby is a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War, a former Oregon National Guard member and the owner of a window treatment store in Oregon City, according to a statement he posted to YouTube on Jan. 5 and his LinkedIn page — both of which have since been removed.
On Jan. 6 — two days before the shooting at the federal courthouse — he participated in a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem and was arrested by Oregon State Police after allegedly being seen “attempting to access several doors” at the Capitol.
In the Jan. 5 video, which appeared to have been taken in front of the Oregon State Capitol, Melby read a statement advancing various conspiracy theories that Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election was illegitimate, and that the contest had been “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
At one point, he recited a lengthy list of federal, state and local politicians and other officials — mainly Democrats or nonpartisan judges — he claims were part of the theft before calmly advancing a plan by which cells of military service members and veterans would operate domestically to detain American citizens.
He even volunteered to head up the effort.
“I would lead these operations, and would do so as a service to this country for free,” he said in the since-removed video. “I make enough in my retirement to do so. I do not want any compensation from the taxpayers.”
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