WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) – A federal grand jury has charged 11 people affiliated with the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy and other charges after the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Nine of those charged were already facing previous charges for the event, including one woman from Woodstock, Ohio.
Jessica Watkins, of Woodstock Ohio, is facing charges of seditious conspiracy in addition to previous charges of conspiring to obstruct official proceedings and conspiring to prevent an officer of the United States from discharging a duty.
According to a release, these indictments can be split into three parts, collectively charging 19 defendants, four of which are from Ohio.
18 of the 19 defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiring to prevent an officer of the United States from discharging a duty. Defendants include Donovan Crowl, from Cable, Ohio, and Bernie and Sandra Parker from Morrow, Ohio in addition to Watkins. 11 of the 19 are charged with seditious conspiracy.
The leader of the Oath Keepers, 56-year-old Texan Elmer Stewart Rhodes III was also arrested and charged.
The Department of Justice describes the Oath Keepers as follows:
As alleged in the indictments, the Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias. Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel. Members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers were among the individuals and groups who forcibly entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs
The release said the seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that Rhodes conspired with his co-defendants to travel to Washington D.C. to forcibly stop the transfer of presidential power. The defendants were allegedly prepared to use force and weaponry in an organized effort to take control of the Capitol and prevent or delay the certification of the electoral college vote.
Groups of Oath Keepers and affiliates marched in “stack” formations and breached the Capitol grounds around 2:30 pm on January 6, the indictment alleged. Others involved remained stationed just outside the City in quick reaction force teams.
The charge of Seditious Conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the DOJ said.