A member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy and obstruction charges for taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Alabama resident Mark Grods, 54, could face more than five years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 after pleading guilty to the riot-related charges, according to U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who received Grods’ guilty plea at a hearing in Washington. A sentence will be imposed at a future hearing.
As part of his plea agreement, Grods agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and give trial and grand jury testimony, he confirmed to the judge.
In court papers, prosecutors said Grods joined a formation of Oath Keepers who rode to the Capitol in golf carts and breached the Capitol along with hundreds of supporters of Republican then-President Donald Trump who were trying to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
More than 500 people have been charged with taking part in the attack, which left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Grods is one of a group of more than two dozen members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Three Percenters facing more serious charges including conspiracy and obstruction.
“While walking through the restricted area and toward the Capitol building, Grods and others known and unknown moved together in a military ‘stack’ formation with hands on the shoulders of those in front of them to communicate and effectively move toward the Capitol,” prosecutors said in the court filing.
Grods entered the Capitol carrying “a large stick,” they said.
In the days before the riot, Grods had communicated via the encrypted app Signal about plans to travel to Washington and whether he should bring weapons, they said, adding: “Grods brought firearms to Washington, D.C., and eventually provided them to another individual to store in a Virginia hotel.”
Prosecutors said their investigation of Grods was related to an “ongoing grand jury investigation” of a group of Oath Keepers who face criminal charges in connection with the riot.
Brian Lockwood, a lawyer for Grods, said his client had no comment. Another Oath Keepers member, Graydon Young https://www.reuters.com/world/us/member-oath-keepers-plead-guilty-role-us-capitol-attack-2021-06-23, last week pleaded guilty to similar charges.
Source – USNews