A Frisco business owner who chartered a private jet to attend the Jan. 6 Donald Trump rally and then stormed the Capitol building was sentenced Tuesday to seven days in jail, authorities said.
Jason Lee Hyland, 39, had pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building. Tuesday’s sentencing hearing was held in Washington.
He chartered the jet with Frisco real estate broker Jennifer “Jenna” Ryan and Colleyville real estate agent Katherine “Katie” Schwab, who also joined a mob that breached the Capitol, federal court records said. Hyland and Schwab are in a relationship that began around that time, authorities said.
Ryan, 52, documented the Texas trio’s two-day trip to Washington on Facebook and Twitter. That included a photo of her, Hyland and Schwab posing on Jan. 5, 2021 in front of a private plane on the tarmac of a Denton airport before their departure.
Ryan, who remained defiant and unrepentant after the attack, served a 60-day sentence for her part during the violent uprising. Like Hyland, she had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. But Ryan gained notoriety after the riot for bragging online about her participation, and she said in media interviews that she didn’t regret her actions.
Ryan also posted a tweet saying, “Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail…I did nothing wrong.”
Schwab, 34, is scheduled to plead guilty next week.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper also issued Hyland a $4,000 fine and ordered him to pay $500 in restitution, officials said.
Prosecutors asked the judge to give Hyland 30 days behind bars, saying that he and Schwab shouted insults at officers who were fighting with rioters while defending the Capitol. The pair called the officers traitors, “thereby possibly inflaming the crowd,” said prosecutor Karen Rochlin in a sentencing memo.
Hyland also told his co-defendants to destroy evidence, and he lied to the FBI about the nature of his involvement, the prosecutor wrote.
Ryan and Schwab also “shouted insults about the media” during the insurrection. And Schwab kicked some media equipment that the mob destroyed and threw another piece onto the ground while Hyland and Ryan watched, authorities said.
Hyland, who later expressed remorse and regret for his actions, didn’t seem concerned at the time about the violence and property destruction, according to prosecutors.
After leaving the Capitol, Hyland made three short video recordings including one in which he said the following: “They’re coming for taxpayers like me who pay over half a million dollars a year in taxes. I just entered this f-ing house because I own part of it. We’re not gonna quit. You can’t steal elections from us.”
But his defense attorney, Nina Ginsberg, noted that her client was inside the Capitol for only about 2 minutes and did not post anything about his exploits on social media.
She said he deserved probation because he cooperated with the FBI, has no criminal history, wasn’t violent, and didn’t cause any property damage during the riot.
“While his brief foray into the Capitol and his presence on the Capitol grounds cannot be condoned, Mr. Hyland has given this Court no reason to suspect that his conduct was anything other than aberrant behavior in the midst of an unprecedented political maelstrom,” Ginsberg wrote in her sentencing memo.
The trio later returned to their hotel room and celebrated the breach of the Capitol, records show. They flew back to Texas the following day in Hyland’s plane.
Later that day, Ryan messaged Hyland and her other travel companions to report that she was “receiving threats and other hostile reactions” to her posts and broadcasts about the riot, court records said.
Hyland responded in a message, “We did not commit violence or destruct property. I’m hoping my generosity for the plane ride doesn’t backfire. Y’all stop talking to people about it. Completely. And delete all of your related social media posts. Especially if I’m in them. Appreciate it in advance and I hope to see you all again when the dust settles.”
Hyland, a divorced father of two children, owns a roofing and construction business.
Hyland worked as a real estate agent from May 2012 to July 2017, his attorney said in her filing. He left the firm to start a commercial general contracting business in late 2017 that specializes in catastrophic restorations and commercial renovations, she said.
Hyland initially invited “members of his social circle” to travel with him to Washington, D.C. to attend the Trump rally but none accepted, so he asked Ryan and Schwab, two Facebook friends he didn’t know, to accompany him, according to court records.
Hyland, who at one point held a student pilot’s license, sent a group message on Jan. 5, 2021 under the subject header “Patriot Flight,” the FBI said. The message said, “Thanks for joining me to DC to stand up for America. This will be historic — no matter the outcome,” and it gave details of the flight departure, court records show.
A witness gave FBI agents text messages sent among the group, according to court records.
On Jan. 6, the day of the riot, Ryan’s 21-minute Facebook Live video showed the group, including Hyland, walking toward the Capitol building. He walked into the Capitol to the sound of blaring alarms while passing doors with shattered windows.
During a Jan. 19 interview with FBI agents, Hyland said he was responsible for the flight logistics but didn’t know any of his fellow travelers prior to the trip.
Hyland said the group stayed the night at a Washington hotel and attended the Trump rally the following day.
“Hyland described the walk up the steps of the Capitol building as a ‘funnel.’ There were two Capitol Police officers holding the doors open at the top of the stairs,” the affidavit said. “Hyland asked if he could go inside, and one of the police officers said, ‘Everyone else is.’”
Hyland said he left the building after hearing a loud bang similar to a “flash bang” grenade.
Schwab posted on Facebook after the breach the following: “The National Guard was in there and didn’t move an inch. They sat back. They didn’t fight against us at all … because there was no need to. After the girl was shot and killed that’s when we raised hell.”