MAGA rioter claims he was high and drunk on Jan. 6 in bid to avoid jail time
Mark Simon at the Capitol (Department of Justice)

Capitol rioter Mark Simon, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in August, is asking a federal judge for leniency because he was not sober at the time of the insurrection.

The charge of "parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol" carries a penalty of up to six months in prison. However, Simon is asking for probation, according to NBC News investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane.

"I am deeply sorry and regret my actions on the day of Jan. 6," Simon wrote in a letter to the judge. "Unfortunately, I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol that day. I probably would not have made the decision to go to DC if I were sober at the time."

Simon, from Huntington Beach, California, said he's had a problem with drugs and alcohol since he was young. He went to a treatment program in 1998 and stayed sober until 2016.

"During the time that I was sober, I got married, had 2 children an (sic) started and maintained a successful air conditioning business," he wrote. "I relapsed in 2016 after my divorce. And I made series of bad decisions since then. Including supporting Donald Trump and going to the Capital (sic) on January 6th."

Simon violated his probation from a previous California charge when he participated in the insurrection. As a result, he served 90 days in jail earlier this year. But he said he's been sober since he was went into custody on Feb. 25.

The Orange County Register reported that Simon was first linked to the Capitol insurrection thanks to a since-deleted blog post saying "Storm the Capitol for Trump!" and showing him with a woman in Washington.

"Local law enforcement officials helped identify Simon for their federal counterparts, describing him as a 'known activist' in Huntington Beach," the newspaper reported. "Simon videotaped himself saying, 'In the Capitol, baby, yeah!' and '2021 Donald Trump!' as he joined a group of people who were pushing their way into the building, according to a description of the recording in court filings."

Simon's video reportedly captured alarms sounding in the building, broken glass visible on adjacent doors and law enforcement attempting to remove people from the area, according to an FBI agent.

"During an earlier hearing, a prosecutor told a magistrate judge that Simon’s live-in girlfriend went with him to the Capitol and could potentially face charges," according to the Orange County Register. "There is no indication in court records that she has since been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 event."

Simon's sentencing is set for Dec. 7.