A member of the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty on Friday to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding for his actions before, during and after the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, a statement released by the US Attorney’s Office in Washington said.
Brian Ulrich of Georgia agreed to co-operate with investigators, handing a big win to prosecutors as they prepare for a likely trial against the far-right group's founder.
As part of the plea agreement, Ulrich has agreed to co-operate with the US Justice Department's investigation.
Ulrich is the second Oath Keepers member to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges and is one of 11 members charged with seditious conspiracy in an indictment unsealed in January.
Joshua James of Alabama pleaded guilty in March with the remaining nine accused have pleaded not guilty, including Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers.
Court documents show that Ulrich was a member of the Georgia chapter of the Oath Keepers, which will accept anyone as a member, though they often focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel.
In his guilty plea, Ulrich confessed to conspiring with other Oath Keeper members and affiliates to “use force to prevent, hinder and delay the execution of the laws of the United States governing the transfer of presidential power”.
Prosecutors say that he used the smartphone application Signal to send encrypted and private communications and to encourage others to join him.
In one chat, before January 6, he messaged the group: “I seriously wonder what it would take just to get every patriot marching around the capital armed? Just to show our government how powerless they are!”
In another, Ulrich indicated that “civil war” could be necessary if Joe Biden became president and added: “I made my peace with God before I joined.”
Before heading to Washington for January 6, Ulrich purchased tactical gear and other items, including two-way radio receivers, a recon backpack, a tactical holster, a medical tourniquet and a half-skull motorcycle helmet.
US District Judge Amit Mehta will sentence Ulrich. Both charges carry up to 20 years in prison, along with potential financial penalties.
A sentencing hearing has not yet been set, with Ulrich in federal custody until that hearing.