WASHINGTON — Oath Keepers Founder and President Elmer Stewart Rhodes III will remain behind bars as he awaits trial for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Rhodes and 10 other members of the militia group were indicted on charges of seditious conspiracy, according to the Justice Department – marking the first defendants to be charged with sedition in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
If convicted at trial, Rhodes and other Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy could face up to 20 years in prison.
Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Rhodes will remain behind bars because he is a danger to society and will continue to promote violence.
Prosecutors say Rhodes allegedly sent text messages to other conspirators in Virginia to bring an arsenal of weapons into D.C. with the intent of using them.
Rhodes, 56, was arrested Jan. 10 at his home in Granbury, Texas, on one count of seditious conspiracy. Another defendant, Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix, was arrested on four counts, including seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties.
The other nine defendants indicted in the case are Oath Keepers who have previously been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
The judge said Rhodes allegedly planning, financing and preparing for the Jan. 6 insurrection weighed heavily on his ruling.
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Stewart Rhodes is the founder and leader of the extremist Militia the Oath Keepers.