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Florida Man With Alleged Links To Oath Keepers Charged Over Capitol Riot

Kenneth Harrelson, identified in an FBI affidavit as the man at center holding a phone in the Capitol Rotunda, is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering a restricted building and conspiracy.
Kenneth Harrelson, identified in an FBI affidavit as the man at center holding a phone in the Capitol Rotunda, is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering a restricted building and conspiracy.

Federal agents arrested an Army veteran with ties to the far-right Oath Keepers paramilitary group on Thursday on conspiracy and other charges connected to the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Kenneth Harrelson, 41, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday in Orlando, Fla. He was ordered to be held pending a detention hearing Monday.

Harrelson faces four counts, including obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering a restricted building and conspiracy.

He is accused in an FBI affidavit of conspiring with nine individuals, all of whom are affiliated with the Oath Keepers and are facing federal charges for allegedly coordinating to storm the Capitol.

At a hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, prosecutors said they anticipate up to six or more additional defendants could be added to that conspiracy case.

For now, Harrelson has been charged separately. According to the affidavit, Harrelson worked with the defendants in that case to breach the Capitol, damage property and obstruct Congress' certification of Joe Biden's electoral college victory.

The FBI says Harrelson can be seen in a video from Jan. 6 inside the Rotunda of the Capitol with alleged Oath Keepers and others who forcibly entered the building in "stack" formation.

Harrelson can be seen in photos from later in the day with people affiliated with the Oath Keepers outside the Capitol, including Kelly Meggs, Graydon Young and Laura Steele—all of whom are already facing conspiracy charges.

The FBI says it obtained call records indicating that Meggs and Harrelson spoke by phone in December and on Jan. 4, two days before the attack on the Capitol.

Investigators also obtained records from Go To Meeting, an online site used for video conference calls.

The affidavit says an individual using a mobile device with the same IP address as Harrelson's phone organized a meeting titled "dc planning call" on Jan. 3, 2021. In addition to that, the same user organized some 30 meetings affiliated with the Oath Keepers between Sept. 30, 2020, and Jan. 3, 2021.

Harrelson also made payments to Oath Keepers, Inc., in July, October and November 2020, according to the affidavit. The Pentagon, meanwhile, told the FBI that Harrelson had served in the U.S. Army.

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