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Can I bring my gun ?: A retired couple among six lawyers accused of conspiracy in the Capitol riots
A retired couple from Ohio who joined the Oath Keepers have been charged with conspiracy for allegedly plotting for months with other members of the far-right militia to storm the United States Capitol. Parker, 60, and her husband, Bennie Parker, 70, have been charged with several federal crimes, including conspiracy, destruction of government property, and aid and encouragement, for their plans to disrupt the session of the Congress Jan.6 to certify the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Bidens, prosecutors said. Sandra Parker, in camouflaged riot gear, raped the government building with other Oath Keepers while her husband helped the group elsewhere on the Capitol grounds.The couple are among six people associated with the Oath Keepers who were arrested and charged this week for conspiring to participate in the January 6 uprising. The other rioters are Graydon Young, 54, from Englewood, Fla., And his sister, Laura Steele, 52, from Thomasville, NC, and Kelly Meggs, 52, and his wife, Connie Meggs, 59 -year-old from Dunnellon, Fla. Prosecutors previously indicted Jessica Watkins, 38-year-old army veteran, Thomas Edward Caldwell, the apparent leader of the Oath Keepers, 65, and Donovan Crowl, a 50- a former Marine one-year-old American for their role in the seat. The FBI describes the Oath Keepers as a large but loosely organized group of militias who believe the federal government has been corrupted by an obscure plot that attempts to deprive American citizens of their rights. In a replacement indictment filed Friday, prosecutors said Kelly Meggs was a self-proclaimed leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, of which Connie Meggs, Young and Steele are also members. As previously reported by The Daily Beast, prosecutors allege Watkins spent at least two months coordinating election-related attacks, including training recruits to get them in shape for another attack during the inauguration and the examination of those interested in the riot of January 6. Among those recruits, according to the complaint, was Bennie Parker, who began texting Watkins in November. I may have to see what it takes to join your militia, our [sic] is about to leave, Parker texted Watkins on Dec. 27, adding they shared the same ideas. Prosecutors on Friday alleged that nine people were involved in the conspiracy and that they all attended or scheduled a training to teach and learn paramilitary combat tactics prior to Operation January 6, in addition to other logistics coordination. The indictment, which details the group’s chilling efforts to coordinate the attack, also notes that the Oath Keepers were motivated, in large part, by former President Donald Trump and their fear of a presidency. Biden. Trump said it was going to be wild !!!!!!! It’s gonna be wild !!!!!!! He wants us to make him WILD that’s what he says. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to drive him wild !!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen, we’re heading to DC to pack your shit !! Kelly Meggs wrote in a series of Facebook posts in December, adding that [w]e will have at least 50-100 OK there. The complaint says Watkins and Parker exchanged numerous text messages relating to preparations for the Jan.6 trip to the nation’s capital, including travel arrangements. During a December exchange, after asking if Watkins or any of your members were planning on going to DC, Parker said that Sandi and I want to go but maybe would like to meet and accompany you. Security and parking issues, to name a few. On Christmas Day, Kelly Meggs wrote in a Facebook post that her group had booked hotel rooms near the Capitol for January 6, adding that Dc was not a gun. So mass and gas masks, batons. If you have armor, that’s fine. Around the same time, Young made arrangements for himself and other militia members on a Florida company’s guns and combat training, according to prosecutors. On Dec. 29, state prosecutors Watkins and Parker texted again this time to discuss Oath Keeper membership and how to meet Jan.6 Headquarters. We need to get together and find out what we need to do to become a member, we are retired so we can meet anytime. Also tell me what you all do on the 6th, wrote Bennie Parker: The oath-keeper in charge of the Capitol riots was preparing for a literal war, Feds SayWatkins offered to meet the couple at the bar where she works. According to BuzzFeed News, Watkins and her boyfriend owned and operated the Jolly Roger, a rural bar in Woodstock, Ohio, where they also lived in an upstairs apartment. The complaint suggests that the Parkers finally met Watkins at the bar. Three days before the uprising, Bennie Parker and Watkins exchanged messages again, this time discussing the uniforms, gear and weapons they would wear … the January 6, 2021, the complaint states. During the conversation, Watkins said the group did not plan to bring in any guns because a rapid reaction force with law enforcement members from Oath Keepers would be present. Prosecutors have previously argued that the QRF, which Watkins helped coordinate with Caldwell, was an armed group that was ready to bring weapons to Oath Keepers if things went wrong or if Trump ordered them to storm the city. Watkins, however, changed course in another text message later in the day, telling the Ohio couple the guns are fine now, too. Sorry for the confusion. She also asked the couple to pack khaki / beige pants. We don’t have persimmon. We have jeans and our comics. So can I bring my gun? Bennie Parker responded, in apparent reference to the army’s battle dress uniform, or camouflage. Steele also reportedly joined the group planning to storm the Capitol on January 3, sending an email to the Chapter. from Florida of the Oath Keepers that her brother, Graydon Young, told her to send the request .. so that I can be checked for the events of Tuesday and Wednesday ahead. On January 4, Young flew from Tampa to North Carolina, then met Steele and three others the next day to travel to DC at the same time Crowl, Watkins and the Parkers were on their way to the nation’s capital. Prosecutors say most of the group arrived at the Comfort Inn in Ballston, Va. On Jan.5. Early the next morning, Watkins texted Bennie Parker asking if he was up and getting ready, before stating that she was picking up some gear and heading for the van. Surveillance video from the hotel shows the couple in camouflage uniforms and meeting Watkins, Crowl and Caldwell in the lobby around 5 a.m. before leaving. Prosecutors say Young and Steele traveled to Washington from Springfield, Va. When the group of nine finally reunited, the indictment says, they prepared for battle before heading to the Capitol in using communication devices and putting on reinforced vests, helmets and goggles. .Where are you? Pence is out. We are screwed up. Tear gas from peaceful demonstrators in the capital. I’m rowdy here … I’m here at the dry fountain to the left of the Capitol[.] Caldwell texted Watkins at around 2:06 PM. Soon after, thousands of MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol. The Oath Keepers, including some of the accused group, were clearly visible in photos and videos, walking closely together on the steps on the east side of the Capitol in their riot gear. The group also wore clothes with accessories Oath Keeper I’m such an instigator: Oath Keeper Leader accused of conspiring in the Capitol riots As photos and videos of the riot show the two Parkers marching alongside several Oaths Keepers, it appears only Sandra Parker raped the Capitol, along with a pile of militia members who were seen inside the rotunda with their hands on their backs, prosecutors said. She was joined by Crowl, Watkins, Young, Steele and the Meggs. The complaint indicates that investigators believe the 30 Oath Keepers, who remained united, wanted to arrest citizens. Following the riots, Watkins and Bennie Parker remained in touch regarding the ensuing federal investigation into the siege. Prosecutors allege that several of the other Oath Keepers attempted to tamper with evidence following the insurgency, including Caldwell, who was accused of removing photos from his social media accounts, and Young, who allegedly deleted his Facebook page. list, seems they’re only interested in people who have destroyed things. I wouldn’t mind them coming after us, Watkins texted Jan 9th to which Parker replied, I’m sure they’re not on us to see pictures but no militia Five days more late Bennie Parker texted Watkins, Hay, I have to ask. you put Sandi in the capital [sic]? On January 17, Watkins and Crowl were arrested. Learn more about The Daily Beast. Send it to The Daily Beast here Get our best stories delivered to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
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