6 more linked to Oath Keepers charged in Capitol attack

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 20, 2021

He as well as three of those people are accused of conspiring to forcibly storm the Capitol on January 6 and planning the attack in advance.

The indictment offers the most sweeping evidence so far that members of the far-right extremist group known as the Oath Keepers had spent months allegedly planning to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory in a bid to keep former President Donald Trump in power.

In a superseding indictment on Friday, the United States charged six people allegedly connected to Oath Keepers - Ohio residents Sandra Ruth Parker, 60, and her husband Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, Graydon Young, 54, of Florida, Kelly Meggs, 52, and his 59-year-old wife Connie Meggs, also of Florida, and Laura Steele, 52, of North Carolina.

The latest indictment adds six more people to the alleged conspiracy, including a retired OH couple, Sandra and Bennie Parker, and another suspected Florida Oath Keeper, Graydon Young, who allegedly arranged to get members of the group trained in firearms and combat.

The three others on the indictment were charged weeks ago: Jessica Watkins, Donovan Crowl and Thomas Caldwell allegedly used Facebook messages and a walkie talkie app to communicate during the attack.

Kelly Meggs, who authorities say is the leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, wrote in a Facebook message in December: "Trump said It's gonna be wild!" It's gonna be wild! He wants us to make it WILD that's what he's saying. "He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!", according to court documents. "Sir Yes Sir! Gentleman we are heading to DC".

The FBI has been investigating whether far-right fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys conspired in advance to impede the election certification.

Sandra and Bennie Parker appeared in a federal court in OH on Thursday and were released on bond pending their next appearance in a federal court in Washington, DC An attorney for Sandra Parker declined comment. Authorities say Sandra Parker entered the Capitol while her husband stayed in contact outside.

The remaining defendants are due to appear in federal courts in Florida and North Carolina next week.

Attorneys for Young and Kelly Meggs declined comment.

According to one of the criminal complaints filed in the case, some of the defendants did not seem too concerned they would face criminal charges.

"I've been following Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted list, seems they're only interested in people who destroyed things".

"I wouldn't worry about them coming after us", she said in a message to a friend days after the attack, according to federal documents filed this week.

The FBI also found pictures of Sandra Parker on Watkins' phone from the day of the attack, which they subsequently matched to photos showing her inside the Capitol, the affidavit said.

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