6 More People Linked to Oath Keepers Indicted for Conspiracy to Obstruct Congress

February 19, 2021 Updated: February 19, 2021

Six more individuals linked to the paramilitary Oath Keepers group were indicted on Friday for allegedly conspiring to obstruct Congress on Jan. 6, among other charges.

Their names were added as co-defendants to a superseding indictment (pdf) also made against three people linked to the Oath Keepers group charged last month.

The Oath Keepers group comprises former military, police, and first responders.

The six additional members were Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida; and his sister, Laura Steele of Thomasville, North Carolina; couple Sandra Parker, 62, and Bennie Parker, 70 of Morrow, Ohio; and Kelly Meggs, 52, and wife Connie Meggs, 59, of Dunnellon, Florida.

The other three people who were charged last month were Jessica Watkins, 38, and Donovan Crowl, 50, both of Champaign County, Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Virginia. Caldwell and Watkins have pleaded not guilty. Crowl has not yet entered a plea.

Prosecutors said that seven of the nine indicted were in a group that allegedly pushed through crowds to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6. According to the indictment, Kelly and Connie Meggs, Young, Steele, Sandra Parker, Watkins, and Crowl moved in a “stack” formation used by military infantrymen, moving up the Capitol steps on the east side of the building with their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. They “breached the door at the top, and then stormed the building,” the Department of Justice announced.

All nine people were charged with one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, one count of destruction of federal government property, and “unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, or violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds,” the department announced.

oath keepers
Jessica Watkins (Left) and Donovan Ray Crowl (Center), both from Ohio, march down the East front steps of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers group in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)

According to the indictment, Bennie Parker and Caldwell were also charged with with obstructing the investigation into the matter, having allegedly tampered with documents or proceedings by unsending and deleting Facebook content in the aftermath of Jan. 6.

Prosecutors alleged that Kelly Meggs, the self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, in a Facebook message in late December 2020 had called on others to join in a protest on Jan. 6 in Washington.

Around the same time, Young separately emailed a Florida company that sells firearms and provides combat training, to ask about a rifle class for himself and three other people, the indictment alleges.

It also alleges that Sandra and Bennie Parker allegedly traveled with Watkins and Crowl from Ohio to Washington. Bennie Parker also allegedly “communicated extensively” with Watkins about joining her group and combining forces for Jan. 6.

Watkins had allegedly messaged Bennie Parker on Jan. 3, “We are not bringing firearms. QRF will be our Law Enforcement members of Oathkeepers,” to which Parker responded, “Good to know.”

“QRF” which appears to refer to “quick reaction force,” a term that law enforcement and the military use to refer to an armed unit capable of rapidly responding to developing situations, prosecutors said.

Separately, Kelly Meggs on Dec. 31 also allegedly made a reference to QRF when he messaged another person on Facebook, saying, “You guys Gonna carry?” and “Ok we aren’t either, we have a heavy QRF5 10 Min out though.”

The remaining defendants are due to appear in federal courts in Florida and North Carolina next week.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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