US: 6 Oath Keepers charged in Capitol riot conspiracy

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – A half-dozen more alleged members of the far-right Oath Keepers militant group were charged Friday with planning the fatal Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Graydon Young, 54, was arrested Monday in Tampa, Florida.

Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, of Dunnellon, Florida, were arrested Wednesday. Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville, North Carolina, was arrested Wednesday; and Sandra Parker, 62, and Bennie Parker, 70, of Morrow, Ohio, were arrested Thursday, the Justice Department said in a statement.

All of the individuals are being added as co-defendants to an indictment against three other alleged Oath Keepers. All except Bennie Parker donned paramilitary equipment and were seen forming a military-style single-file "stack" that breached the legislature's door and stormed the Capitol, according to the Justice Department.

Just minutes before the mob marched on the Capitol, Trump riled up his supporters, telling them to "fight like hell" to "stop the steal," a reference to his claims of widespread voter fraud in presidential election.

"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!!! Sir Yes Sir!!!" Kelly Meggs, who the Justice Department said touted herself as the leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, wrote on Facebook in December.

She was referring to a Twitter post made by the former president on Dec. 19.

At roughly the same time Young allegedly arranged for combat and firearms training for himself and other unidentified individuals.

The individuals are each charged with one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States by seeking to impede an official proceeding, one count of plundering federal property, and unlawful entry.

Bennie Parker and Caldwell are also being charged with attempting to obstruct an investigation for allegedly deleting information on Facebook.

Five people died Jan. 6 when Trump's supporters assaulted the Capitol in an attempt to thwart the counting of Electoral College votes.

A police officer was among those who lost their lives. Two others took their lives in the insurrection's wake.

Hundreds of people face charges in connection with the riot.