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Oath Keeper Pleads Guilty to Capitol Insurrection Charges

Graydon Young, a member of the right-wing militia group, pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Graydon Young, a member of the right-wing militia group, pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(CN) --- A member of right-wing militia group Oath Keepers pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony conspiracy and obstruction charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

In the aftermath of supporters of then-President Donald Trump violently descending on the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Graydon Young became one of 16 members or associates of the extremist group to be charged with involvement in the insurrection.

Of the major conspiracy cases brought against Oath Keepers who allegedly participated in the insurrection attempt, the 54-year-old from Florida provided the first guilty plea on Wednesday. 

So far, more than 480 people have been arrested and charged with participating in the Capitol riot, which led to five deaths.

Young, who according to court documents joined the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers last December, was arrested in February.

Prosecutors say Young and other members of the group planned to carry out an armed attack on the Capitol complex in order to prevent President Joe Biden’s win from being certified. 

They said that Young wrote to a Florida firearms and combat training company in December to say, "I have joined Oath Keepers. I recommended your training to the team. To that effect, four of us would like to train with you."

Young, who went by the online screen name "GenXPatriot," is one of several Oath Keepers who are accused of marching in a military-style “stack” formation up the steps of the U.S. Capitol wearing paramilitary gear on Jan. 6.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington to conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding. According to Mehta, federal sentencing rules indicate Young may serve between 5 1/4 years and 6 1/2 years in prison.

Part of Young’s plea bargain requires him to cooperate with investigators as they probe other alleged participants of the Capitol riot. He agreed to be interviewed by law enforcement investigators without his lawyer present, provide grand jury testimony and pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the Capitol building caused by the attack. 

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop aiding and abetting charges against Young. He remains free on bail as of Wednesday, and the judge did not release any details for a sentencing hearing. 

Young’s sister, Laura Steele of Thomasville, North Carolina, also faces charges in the government's sweeping investigation.

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