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Monday, February 6, 2023

Member of Oath Keepers Indicted for Allegedly Helping Lead Operations Preceding Jan. 6

At 1:42 p.m., Greene sent a text message to an acquaintance stating, “Storming the capital,” along with a photograph that depicted the advancing mob.

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has returned an indictment, which was unsealed Friday, charging a member of the Oath Keepers with conspiracy and other charges for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Michael Greene, 39, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was arrested in Indiana on Thursday. He is being charged for the first time in connection with his actions before, during, and after Jan.6. Greene is expected to make his initial court appearance later today in the Southern District of Indiana.

Greene was named in a superseding indictment returned June 22, 2022, that also includes seven previously charged defendants: James Beeks, 50, of Orlando, Florida; Donovan Crowl, 51, of Cable, Ohio; William Isaacs, 22, of Kissimmee, Florida; Connie Meggs, 60, of Dunnellon, Florida; Sandra Parker, 64, of Morrow, Ohio; Bernie Parker, 72, of Morrow, Ohio, and Laura Steele, 54, of Thomasville, North Carolina. All previously pleaded not guilty to charges.

Greene, who also is known as Michael Simmons, was indicted on a total of five charges, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding; conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

In a separate case, nine additional defendants face charges of seditious conspiracy and other offenses, including Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 57, of Granbury, Texas, who is the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers. A superseding indictment was unsealed in that case yesterday.

As alleged in the indictments, the Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias. Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel. Members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers were among the individuals and groups who forcibly entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to the indictment, Greene also used the monikers “Whip” and “Whiplash.” He participated in an online meeting on Nov. 9, 2020, in which Rhodes outlined a plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power. Greene later was chosen by Rhodes to be an operations leader for activities on Jan. 6. Greene, Rhodes, and others made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation. The co-conspirators then traveled across the country to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in early January 2021. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, 2021, according to the indictment, Greene and others transported firearms, ammunition, and related items to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

On Jan. 6, Greene and Rhodes departed a hotel in Virginia at approximately 8:30 a.m. and drove to the Capitol area. Each later entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and directed co-conspirators to meet them at the Capitol. At 1:42 p.m., Greene sent a text message to an acquaintance stating, “Storming the capital,” along with a photograph that depicted the advancing mob on the west side of the Capitol grounds. Greene communicated with Rhodes and others during the afternoon. At about 3:09 p.m., Greene texted an acquaintance, “Congress evacuated.” After teams of other Oath Keepers entered and exited the Capitol, Greene and Rhodes met them in a plaza outside the building. The indictment alleges that sometime on or after Jan. 6, Greene deleted from his cellphone certain media, files, and communications that showed his involvement in the activities.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana and other U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Indianapolis Field Offices, with valuable assistance provided by agents and staff across numerous FBI Field Offices, including those in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Alabama and Georgia, among other locations.

In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Read more at the Justice Department

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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