Alaskan sentenced in Jan. 6 riot at Capitol tells judge he needs a gun for moose defense

Surveillance footage showed Aaron Mileur and his cousin in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. (From DOJ sentencing memo)

A Wasilla man sentenced for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 is asking a judge to loosen a condition of his probation. 

He wants to be allowed a firearm, to protect himself from moose. 

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. sentenced 43-year-old Aaron James Mileur to two years of probation last month. He pleaded guilty to a charge of demonstrating or parading in the Capitol building. Three other charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea. 

Not possessing firearms was a condition of probation.

But Assistant Federal Public Defender Eugene Ohm wrote that, within days of his sentencing hearing, Mileur saw a moose on his property. Moose can be dangerous, the Washington, D.C.-based lawyer wrote, citing two commercial websites.

“Mr. Mileur thus respectfully requests that the conditions of his probation be modified so that he may defend himself and his property against potential moose on his property,” Ohm wrote.

He included two photos of Mileur’s backyard moose. 

Federal prosecutors oppose the request. They wrote that Mileur lives in a suburban neighborhood, not the wilds, and that moose rarely need to be shot in self-defense.

“Many residents … consider a visiting backyard moose to be a pleasurable diversion; a cause to pull out a camera and boast to friends and neighbors when a particularly majestic specimen appears,” they wrote.

The question is pending before U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss.

Mileur was arrested after someone called an FBI hotline to report that he’d posted video and photos on Facebook showing himself inside the Capitol during the riot.

His attorney did not respond to an emailed interview request for this story. But the sentencing briefs shed more light on the case. They say that Mileur, an Air Force veteran who installs rain gutters, was on vacation in Baltimore on Jan. 6, visiting a cousin. They decided to go to then-President Donald Trump’s rally protesting his election loss, but they arrived too late and instead went to the Capitol. 

By their own account, they were among the first throng to enter the building from the East Plaza of the Capitol. 

The riot interrupted the certification of the Electoral College vote.

The judge also ordered Mileur to pay $500 to compensate for damage to the Capitol Building.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

Previous articleGov. Dunleavy creates task force to address Alaska’s child care crisis
Next articleAlaska News Nightly: Thursday, April 6, 2023