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Grand jury indicts 6 more Oath Keepers in expanding Capitol riot conspiracy case

A husband and wife from Ohio and another from Florida are accused of planning to disrupted the certification of electoral votes on January 6.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Six more alleged members of the Oath Keepers militia were indicted in federal court this week for their alleged roles in the Capitol riot.

Their names are the latest added to an existing indictment that includes Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell, both accused of helping to organize the Oath Keepers’ travel and actions on January 6.

In addition to Caldwell, Watkins and their original co-defendant, Donovan Crowl, a federal grand jury returned indictments on Friday on six new people:

  • Sandra Parker, a 60-year-old resident of Warren County, Ohio
  • Bennie Parker, a 70-year-old resident of Warren County, Ohio, and the husband of Sandra Parker
  • Graydon Young, a 54-year-old resident of Englewood, Florida
  • Laura Steele, a 52-year-old resident of Thomasville, North Carolina, and the sister of Graydon Young
  • Kelly Meggs, a 52-year-old resident of Dunnellon, Florida
  • Connie Meggs, a 59-year-old resident of Dunnellon, Florida, and the wife of Kelly Meggs

The indictment charges all of the defendants with a conspiracy to stop the certification of electoral votes for Joe Biden on January 6.

According to the indictment, during the riot the group moved together in a military “stack” formation using hand signals to maintain communication and coordination. They then forcibly stormed past exterior barricades and entered the Capitol complex.

The indictment also details newly released communications and activities by the group in the lead up to January 6.

According to the document, Kelly Meggs, who claimed be the Oath Keepers’ state lead in Florida, wrote a series of messages on Facebook that included suggesting he believed former President Donald Trump supported the group.

“Trump said it’s gonna be wild!!!!!!” Meggs allegedly wrote. “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!!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your [expletive].”

The DOJ says it also obtained emails from Meggs talking about bringing Oath Keepers to train in a rifle class and about a “heavy QRF.” “QRF” is an abbreviation for “quick reaction force” – a group of Oath Keepers stationed outside D.C. with weapons the DOJ has alleged Watkins helped coordinate with.

RELATED | Oath Keepers planned backup staged with weapons outside DC during Capitol riot, DOJ says

The group was also among the apparent recipients of a Zello message on the “Stop the Steal J6” channel from an as-yet-unidentified person who directed them to execute a citizen’s arrest.

“Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” the message read, according to the FBI. The agency says Watkins responded, “We are in the mezzanine. We are in the main dome right now. We are rocking it.”

The group collectively faces charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and tampering with documents or proceedings. The obstruction charge alone carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

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