WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A member of the group known as the Oath Keepers is arguing in her motion for bond that she was present at the Jan. 6 rally for former President Donald Trump, but she was there to provide security, not as an insurrectionist.
Six additional individuals associated with the Oath Keepers, some of whose members were among the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, were arrested this week and charged for conspiring to obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election results, among other charges.
The individuals are Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida; Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, both of Dunnellon, Florida; Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville, North Carolina; and Sandra Ruth Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, both of Morrow, Ohio.
These six individuals were added as co-defendants to a superseding indictment filed last week in United States v. Thomas Caldwell, Donovan Crowl, and Jessica Watkins.
The superseding indictment alleges that Kelly and Connie Meggs, Young, Steele and Sandra Parker donned paramilitary gear and joined with Watkins and Crowl in a military-style "stack" formation that marched up the center steps on the east side of the U.S. Capitol, breached the door at the top and then stormed the building.
The indictment charges all nine defendants with one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, one count of depredation against federal government property and unlawful entry, disorderly conduct or violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
The indictment also charges Bennie Parker and Caldwell with obstructing the investigation.
According to the superseding indictment, Kelly Meggs is the self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, of which Connie Meggs, Young and Steele also are alleged to be members.
In late December, the indictment alleges, Kelly Meggs wrote in a Facebook message, "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!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your s***!!"
He went on to state, "[W]e will have at least 50-100 OK there." According to the indictment, around the same time, Young allegedly arranged, for himself and others, training by a Florida company that provides firearms and combat training.
The indictment alleges that Sandra and Bennie Parker traveled with Watkins and Crowl from Ohio to Washington, D.C. In the lead-up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Bennie Parker allegedly communicated extensively with Watkins about potentially joining her militia and combining forces for the events of Jan. 6.
According to her motion for bond, on Jan. 5 and 6, Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally for former President Trump, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then President, and to safely escort protestors away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest.
She was given a VIP pass to the rally and met with Secret Service agents. She was within 50 feet of the stage during the rally to provide security for the speakers.
At the time the Capitol was breached, she was still at the site of the initial rally where she had provided security. The government concedes that her arrival at the Capitol was a full 40 minutes after the Capitol had been breached.
The superseding indictment alleges that, in making plans for the events of Jan. 6, Kelly Meggs made statements, similar to those made by Watkins and Caldwell, that his group would not need to be armed for the attack on the U.S. Capitol, because there would be a "heavy QRF 10 Min out[.]"
The abbreviation "QRF" is alleged to refer to "quick reaction force," a term used by law enforcement and the military to refer to an armed unit capable of rapidly responding to developing situations, typically to assist allied units in need of such assistance.
The superseding indictment adds charges that, in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Caldwell and Young tampered with documents or proceedings by unsending and deleting Facebook content.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Florida, the Middle District of North Carolina and the Southern District of Ohio.
The superseding indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Jacksonville Field Office, Tampa Field Office, Charlotte Field Office and Cincinnati Field Office.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.