GRANBURY, Texas — Federal authorities arrested a Granbury man on Thursday and charged him with seditious conspiracy for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 56, was arrested a little before noon in Little Elm, Texas, federal officials said.
Rhodes is reported to be the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group.
Ten other people — including another Prosper, Texas man, 37-year-old Roberto Minuta — were also charged with seditious conspiracy on Thursday in connection with the attack on Jan. 6, 2021, when authorities said members of the extremist Oath Keepers group came to Washington intent on stopping the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
According to the federal indictment, Rhodes and others began in late December 2020 using encrypted and private messaging apps to coordinate, plan and travel — armed — to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.
Among their plans, the indictment said, was organizing into teams that were “prepared and willing to use force” and to transport firearms and ammo into the D.C. area. The court documents outline that Rhodes texted his followers, “We aren’t getting through this without a Civil War.”
Per the indictment, Rhodes and others also allegedly recruited members to participate in the conspiracy; organized trainings to teach and learn paramilitary combat tactics; brought and provided thousands of dollars of paramilitary gear, weapons and supplies; breached the Capitol and attempted to take control of the Capitol grounds; and continued to plot after Jan. 6 to prevent the lawful transfer of presidential power.
As rioters began to go inside the US Capitol, one member asked if they had been infiltrated by “Antifa”, to which Rhodes allegedly responded, “Nope I’m right here. These are patriots.”
With his arrest, Rhodes becomes the highest-ranking member of an extremist group to be arrested in relation to the deadly insurrection, according to officials. He’s scheduled to have a first appearance in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, in Plano, on Friday afternoon.
Neama Rahmani is a former federal prosecutor and the head of West Coast Trial lawyers. He says Rhodes arrest sends a statement.
Click here to read more.