Edgar Maddison Welch is a name many became familiar with last year after he was arrested for firing an AR-15 assault rifle in a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. Welch is making headlines once again because sentencing has come down from his conviction. He has been sentenced to four years in prison for discharging his weapon inside the restaurant in pursuit of the "pizzagate" conspiracy theory. His total sentence is for 48 months of prison time, an additional 36 months of probation, and $$5,744.33 in restitution.

Pizzagate

Welch invaded the restaurant Comet ping pong in Washington, D.C. while investigating the unfounded conspiracy theory that was dubbed “Pizzagate” in December 2016.

Welch went to the restaurant on an unauthorized, independent investigation into claims that the restaurant was conducting a sex trafficking ring that was connected to Hillary Clinton. As for why he rushed to the restaurant, Welch claimed that he was attempting to rescue captive children whom he thought were being held and made to perform sexual acts against their will. According to his testimony, it would seem as though Welch saw himself as a savior to these (imaginary) children.

Conspiracy theories

All of these events took place because Welch had read a fake news article that had been circulating the web connecting Comet Ping Pong and ex-presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to an underground child sex trafficking ring.

The “news” of Clinton’s alleged connection to this recidivist network gained traction when renown conspiracy theorist and far-right-wing radio host Alex Jones added his voice to the mix. Jones has since apologized for the comments and the part he and his outlets played in propagating the Pizzagate hoax.

In an article on the New York Times website, Jones said,“We apologize to the extent our commentaries could be construed as negative statements about Mr. Alefantis or Comet Ping Pong, and we hope that anyone else involved in commenting on Pizzagate will do the same thing.”

Life after Pizzagate

Welch, 29, was a father of two from North Carolina who felt so compelled by the story of Pizzagate that he charged into action.

Reports state that he initially fired some rounds from his AR-15 into a door and upon inspection of the restaurant and finding no illicit activity, he surrendered and did not harm anyone.

In court, Welch pled guilty to charges of interstate transportation of a firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon with his sentences to run concurrently. Since Welch’s arrest and the steady debunking of the Pizzagate allegations, similar allegations have made their way to other pizzerias across the country, proving that sensationalism is hard to kill even in the face of truth.

What do you think of the Pizzagate propaganda?

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