Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes arrested in federal custody after a seditious conspiracy arrest; He pleaded not guilty

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Elmer Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of right-wing militia group Oath Keepers, was in federal custody on Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of sedition conspiracy and other charges in connection with the 6th attack. January at the United States Capitol. last year.

Federal prosecutors have asked Magistrate Kimberly Priest Johnson to arrest Rhodes, who later set up a detention hearing in federal court in Plano on Thursday morning.

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At the hearing, the judge will consider the evidence before deciding whether to release Rhodes.

The FBI arrested Rhodes at a house in Little Elm on Thursday, January 13 and took him to the Collin County Jail.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Rhodes is one of 11 people accused of seditious conspiracy who specifically seek to prevent and obstruct a joint session of Congress by certifying the November 2020 election on January 6 and after preventing Joe Biden from taking over the presidency from Donald Trump on January 20th. .

Prosecutors say as head and founder of Oath Keepers, Rhodes began sending encrypted messages to others in the group on Nov. 5, two days after the presidential election.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 11, Rhodes said that if President-elect Biden becomes president, “It will be a bloody and desperate struggle. We will have a fight that cannot be avoided.”

Rhodes’ civil lawyer said Thursday that his client did not enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but federal prosecutors say he entered the Capitol’s restricted grounds that day and drove him. others from here.

The indictment says at 1:30 pm that day, Rhodes expressed frustration in a message to his group: “Pence is not doing anything as I expected. All I see Trump doing is complain. I see no intention of he did nothing. Then the patriots took him by the hand. They had had enough. “

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Prosecutors say the defendants were also “… ready to quickly transport firearms and other weapons to Washington, DC in support of operations aimed at using force to stop the legal transfer of presidential power.”

Following Friday’s hearing in court in Plano, Rhodes supporters spoke to reporters.

Andie Gonzales said: “He is a patriot who means he stands for the Constitution, and he wants everyone to keep the oath they took. We need to do a lot of healing in this country instead of dividing.”

Another friend from Rhodes, who only gives his first name Brian, said: “I’ve known the man for a couple of years and I can talk to him. He’s a solid character, he’s a Christian, and he loves his country. We all do. “.

Kellye SoRelle, who has said she is temporarily chairman of Oath Keepers, said: “I am not guilty of any of the extravagant charges and the organization is with Mr Rhodes.”

One of his Rhodes lawyers, James Lee Bright, said: “He intends to fight the charges to the end.”

Bright and another lawyer for Rhodes, Phillip Lender said Rhodes is not a danger to the community, has no criminal history, has no passport and is not a flight risk.

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