Georgia man among 11 Oath Keepers indicted on sedition charges for Jan. 6 attack

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Georgia man is one of 11 people to be indicted in federal court on sedition charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Brian Ulrich, 44, of Guyton, Georgia, has already been indicted in connection to his participation in the attack, which disrupted a joint session of Congress as lawmakers tried to certify President Joe Biden’s election.

Ulrich was indicted along with a group of people tied to the Oath Keepers, a far-right antigovernment militia.

The Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, explicitly focusing on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel.

One of those included in the same indictment is the leader of The Oath Keepers, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, of Texas. Rhodes was arrested Thursday morning in Phoenix.

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In total, 11 people have been indicted on seditious conspiracy charges, the first time the federal government has leveled sedition charges against people who participated in the attack. Sedition is the act of using violence or inciting a revolt to overthrow a government.

Those include Ulrich, Rhodes and Vallejo as well as Thomas Caldwell, 67, of Berryville, Virginia; Joseph Hackett, 51, of Sarasota, Florida; Kenneth Harrelson, 41, of Titusville, Florida; Joshua James, 34, of Arab, Alabama; Kelly Meggs, 52, of Dunnellon, Florida; Roberto Minuta, 37, of Prosper, Texas; David Moerschel, 44, of Punta Gorda, Florida; and Jessica Watkins, 39, of Woodstock, Ohio.

The sedition charges are part of three indictments charging 19 people connected to the Oath Keepers with various crimes related to corruptly obstructing an official proceeding.

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The seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that after Biden’s election on Nov. 3, 2020, Rhodes conspired with his co-defendants and others to use force to oppose the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20.

Starting in late December, prosecutors said Rhodes and co-conspirators used encrypted and private communications applications to plan to travel to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 with weapons.

The indictments say that the group organized into teams that were prepared and wiling to use force and to bring guns and ammo to Washington; organized trainings to teach paramilitary combat tactics; and bought gear, weapons and supplies including batons, camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests, knives, eye protection, helmets and radio supplies.

Their goal, according to the indictment, was to take control of the Capitol grounds and building in an effort to hinder and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote.

Prosecutors said Rhodes entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds around 2 p.m. and directed his followers to meet him. Around 2:30 p.m., one group marched in “stack” formation up the east steps, joined a mob and made their way inside.

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Later, another group of Oath Keepers and associates, including Ulrich, formed a second “stack” and breached the Capitol grounds, marching from the west side to the east side of the Capitol building, then up the east stairs and into the building.

Other Oath Keepers members remained stationed just outside the city in quick reaction force teams that were prepared to bring guns and other weapons into Washington to support their operations.

The charge of seditious conspiracy carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

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