Georgia man affiliated with Oath Keepers becomes second rioter convicted of conspiracy to treason

Insurrectionists march down the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Jim Bourg/REUTERS

PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — A Georgia man affiliated with the far-right Oath Keepers militia group became a second Capitol rioter, pleading guilty to his actions and of seditious conspiracy through the January 6, 2021 uprising.

Sentencing guidelines for Brian Ulrich, who pleaded guilty Friday, estimated that there would be a prison term of 5 years to 6 years. He also pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding.

Officials say Ulrich took part in encrypted chats with others associated with the Oath Keepers in the days before the riots, rode with others in golf carts to the Capitol that day, in a military “stack” formation in the field. marched on, taunted police officers who were guarding the building and also entered the Capitol as hundreds of former President Donald Trump supporters sought to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Asked by the judge whether he was pleading guilty because he was in fact guilty of the charges, Ulrich replied, “Yes, your honor.”

The 44-year-old from Guyton, Georgia, agreed to cooperate with officials investigating the riots, including testifying before a grand jury.

Read more: Judge says Georgia voters can challenge Representative Greene’s reelection for role in January 6 uprising

The treasonous conspiracy trial is the most daring publicly known attempt by the government to prosecute those who attacked the US Capitol. The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, and eight others have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to treason and other charges.

A conviction under the charge of seditious conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, compared to five years on the lesser conspiracy charge that others associated with the militia group are facing.

Those charged with conspiracy to commit treason are accused of working together to use force to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power. Officials say the participants discussed their plans in encrypted chats, traveled from across the country to the nation’s capital, organized into teams, used military tactics, hid weapons if they felt they were needed and on January 6. communicated with each other during the riots.

While four others linked to the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to charges of obstructing Congress and lesser conspiracy, Ulrich is the second person to plead guilty to conspiracy to treason. Joshua A. James of Arab, Alabama, pleaded guilty to the charge last month.

Prosecutors say the group set up a “quick response force,” or QRF, that kept guns at a hotel in nearby Arlington, Virginia, and asked if Rhodes or collaborators believed they were carrying the weapons to Washington. were ready to bring in. A few days before the attack, a defendant suggested taking a boat across the Potomac River to fetch weapons. In the end, the QRF teams did not bring guns into Washington.

More than 780 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the January 6 riots. More than 250 of them have confessed to crimes, most of them for misdemeanors. Of these, about 160 have been sentenced.