The early release of Jacob Chansley, known to the world as the “QAnon Shaman,” remained a step shy of freedom as the 35-year-old was spotted outside his new temporary residence this week.
Following his early release from Federal Correctional Institution, Safford this week after serving 27 of a 41-month sentence, having pled guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding during the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, it had been announced that Chansley would be sent to a halfway house.
Though it hadn’t been specified where he was going, reporters tracked him down after his release to the Behavioral Systems Southwest-owned Phoenix Residential Re-entry Center in Phoenix, Arizona where the Daily Mail caught him on video waving and smiling before heading into his room.
The facility where he is staying is contracted through the Bureau of Prisons and US Probation and was said to have 78 beds; 62 for men and 16 for women.
As previously reported, Chansley’s former attorney Albert S. Watkins had commended the early release and said, “After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law-abiding and enriching life.”
“I applaud the decision of the US Bureau of Prisons in this regard,” he added.
'QAnon Shaman' released from prison following airing of J6 exculpatory footagehttps://t.co/bTNmpWsOTZ
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 30, 2023
As to whether or not Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s airing of previously unseen footage from Jan. 6 had anything to do with the decision, Watkins said, “This was a decision of the US Bureau of Prisons. I cannot speak for the US Bureau of Prisons.”
Likewise, CBS News reported that Chansley had had a projected release of July 2023, but a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons would not comment on his specific case.
“For safety, and security reasons, we do not discuss the conditions of confinement for any inmate, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual’s specific location while in community confinement,” the spokesman had said in a statement.
Instead, CBS News was told the 2018 First Step Act provided for a calculation of sentence reductions in March that would account for the timing of the release.
Meanwhile, Chansley avoided questions from the press and had reportedly not departed the confines of the halfway house where he is expected to remain until May 25.
The New York Post spoke with his mother, Martha Chansley, who said he is “doing well.”
“We just have to pretend that he’s in jail still,” she explained of the conditional release from FCI Safford. “The halfway house is still like a jail. He can’t go visit anybody. I don’t even get to visit him.”
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