I-Team: WNY residents charged in January 6 U.S. Capitol riot involved in plea negotiations

Two Erie County residents plead guilty
Capitol riots
Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 13:53:15-05

WASHINGTON (WKBW) — A pair of Erie County residents joined the growing list of individuals who pleaded guilty on charges from the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

In total, seven local residents were federally charged in connection to their alleged participation in the riots.

John Juran, 51, of Williamsville, entered into a plea agreement on Dec. 1. Juran pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Juran John - Plea Agreement by Sean Mickey

He faces a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. Juran must also pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol.

(Photo Courtesy: Department of Justice)

Attorney Eric M. Soehnlein, who represents Juran, sent the following statement to the I-Team:

"A successful businessman with no criminal history, Mr. Juran followed the crowd into the Capitol on January 6. He was not a leader of the demonstration, and the Government has acknowledged Mr. Juran was not destructive or violent at any point on Capitol grounds," wrote Soehnlein.

"He has acknowledged his misconduct, and he looks forward to putting this matter behind him."

Juran’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Traci J. Sunstrum, 44, of Amherst, entered into a plea agreement on Nov. 17. Sunstrum pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Sunstrum Traci - Plea Agree... by Sean Mickey

She also faces a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. Sunstrum must also pay $500 in restitution.

(Photo Courtesy: Department of Justice)

Sunstrum raised over $30,000 for her legal expenses through crowdfunding. "A good attorney isn't going to be inexpensive. And we all need good attorneys willing to fight this battle," wrote Sunstrum on GiveSendGo.

"Driving to DC from Buffalo to show my support was my duty, as well as a great pleasure, as a citizen of a country that had afforded me so many freedoms," Sunstrum added.

An attorney representing Sunstrum did not respond to the I-Team's request for comment.

Sunstrum’s sentencing is set for Feb. 10.

According to prosecutors, the riot caused nearly $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol.

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has also learned two other Erie County residents are involved in plea negotiations.

According to documents filed in federal court, Peter J. Harding, 47, of Cheektowaga and Daniel Warmus, 37, of Alden, are each engaged in negotiations.

Warmus was originally scheduled to have a status hearing Tuesday. In a joint motion filed on Dec. 9, it stated that plea negotiations have been “productive.” Both parties in Warmus’ case anticipate it will be resolved by a plea deal.

Warmus and Harding each have hearings scheduled for Feb. 8.

William M. Sywak, 45, of Hamburg, and his son, William J. Sywak, 27, of Arcade, previously pleaded not guilty. Thomas F. Sibick, 35, of Amherst, also pleaded not guilty.

Those cases remain in the discovery period.