This Thursday, a federal judge sentenced a Florida member of the Oath Keepers militia to 12 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Kelly Meggs, 54, was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges alongside the militia’s founder Stewart Rhodes, who received the longest sentence to date related to Jan. 6, of 18 years.
From the DOJ:
Rhodes and Meggs were found guilty on Nov. 29, 2022, following an eight-week trial and three days of deliberations. In addition to the seditious conspiracy charge, Rhodes was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings. Meggs was also found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging duties, and tampering with documents or proceedings.
The defendants … employed a variety of manners and means, including: organizing into teams that were prepared and willing to use force and to transport firearms and ammunition into Washington, D.C.; recruiting members and affiliates; organizing trainings to teach and learn paramilitary combat tactics; bringing and contributing paramilitary gear, weapons, and supplies – including knives, batons, camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection, and radio equipment – to the Capitol grounds; breaching and attempting to take control of the Capitol grounds and building on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the electoral college vote; using force against law enforcement officers while inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021; continuing to plot, after Jan. 6, 2021, to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power, and using websites, social media, text messaging and encrypted messaging applications to communicate with each other and others.
According to reports, in text messages to his’ wife Connie and his son Zack on Nov. 3, 2020, Meggs wrote: “I’m gonna go on a killing spree,” and then later wrote that then-Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be the “first” to go.
Meggs’ attorneys claimed that the messages were private since they were between a husband and wife, but prosecutors disagreed, saying that the privilege of privacy doesn’t apply since the messages were in regards to criminal activity.
Read the full press release here.