The United States has secured an indictment against three members of the far-right “Oath Keepers” militia, charging they conspired to storm the U.S. Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The indictment alleges that Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, and Thomas Caldwell, 65, conspired as far back as November to obstruct Congress – a charge that can carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
The trio were previously charged by criminal complaint, and all three were ordered detained after magistrate judges ruled they posed a danger to the community and should be held without bond.
The amended complaint against the three, which was made public earlier this month, revealed the FBI had collected messages they received during the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
In one, Watkins can be heard saying: “We have a good group. We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan.”
In another message that Caldwell received during the attack, an unidentified person told him: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.”
At Caldwell’s detention hearing on Jan. 19, a federal prosecutor said there was a possibility additional charges could be filed as the investigation proceeds, including charges of seditious conspiracy.
None of the three have entered pleas in the case yet.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy)