The head of one of the main far-right groups in the US was arrested for "sedition" for the assault on the Capitol.
Stewart Rhodes, 56, who founded and runs Oath Keepers, and another alleged participant in the conspiracy, Ed Vallejo, were arrested Thursday. They could face sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
The head of the Oath Keepers, one of the main far-right groups in the United States, and ten other people were charged with sedition and conspiracy in the framework of the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Stewart Rhodes, 56, who founded and directed the extremist group, and another alleged participant in the conspiracy, Ed Vallejo, were arrested Thursday.
In a statement, the US Department of Justice indicated that Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 56, of Granbury, Texas, was arrested in the Texas town of Little Elm on Thursday morning.
These are the most serious charges filed against the participants in the assault on the Capitol. If found guilty, they can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
This is the first time that Rhodes has been formally charged in court for January 6, more than a year after the events occurred.
The Oath Keepers are a loose organization linked to citizen militias. Although they accept anyone as a member, they focus their recruitment efforts on ex-military, police, and first-aid personnel.
According to the Department of Justice, Rhodes and the rest of the defendants conspired after the US presidential election on November 3, 2020. The Democratic candidate won, and the current president, Joe Biden, "forcefully oppose the execution of the laws that govern the transfer of presidential power.
Thus, according to the indictment, the defendants coordinated among themselves through encrypted communication applications and planned their trip to the capital, Washington, for the day the electoral results were to be ratified -January 6- in Congress. carrying weapons.
On that day, Rhodes and the rest of the defendants were part of a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump who carried out a violent assault on the Capitol, which left five dead and offered unprecedented images in recent US history.
To date, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has filed charges against more than 700 people, residents throughout the United States, for crimes ranging from physically attacking police officers to impeding the exercise of their functions to destroying government property and entering a restricted access building.
The most significant sentence issued to date - released on December 17 - fell on a man who attacked police officers with a fire extinguisher and was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.