Regional leader of ‘Oath Keepers’ pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy

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Regional leader of 'Oath Keepers' pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy

A regional leader of the militia group the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and other federal charges Wednesday for storming the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election result. 

The North Carolina man, William Todd Wilson, 45, is the third member of the far-right group to cop to the sedition count for their roles in the Jan. 6 riot, Justice Department officials said. 

He faces up to 40 years behind bars at sentencing.

A day before the siege, Wilson drove to the DC-area, packing an AR-15-style rifle, a handgun, about 200 rounds of ammunition, body armor and a combat uniform, prosecutors said in charging documents against him. 

He stashed the cache of weapons in a room in a Northern Virginia hotel, where he and other Oath Keeper leaders from across the country were staying.

Wilson was prepared to retrieve the weapons “if called upon to do so,” DOJ officials said in a statement after his guilty plea. 

He was among the mob of Donald Trump supporters who stormed into the Capitol – and was the first follower of the Oath Keepers to breach the building, according to the feds. 

Wilson faces 40 years in prison at his sentencing.
Wilson faces 40 years in prison at his sentencing.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

After the riot, Wilson met with a number of other Oath Keepers at a Northern Virginia restaurant, where they discussed scrubbing their cellphones of incriminating information, authorities said. 

In the weeks leading up to the riot, Wilson had exchanged messages with co-conspirators on the encrypted app Signal, the feds said. 

“Things are about to get real . . . and we need to be ready as ever!” Wilson wrote in Dec. 30, 2020 message, according to federal officials. 

Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III has also been charged with seditious conspiracy.
Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III has also been charged with seditious conspiracy.
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Nine other members of the Oath Keepers, including the founder, 57-year-old Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, have been charged with seditious conspiracy. They’ve pleaded not guilty.

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