ORLANDO, Fla. – A Brevard County man attended dozens of planning calls with other members of the Oath Keepers before they stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this year, according to a criminal complaint from the FBI.
Kenneth Harrelson, of Titusville, was arrested in Brevard County on Wednesday. During a court appearance Thursday afternoon, a judge ordered that he remain in custody until at least Monday, at which time another hearing will be held.
Harrelson is facing charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property and entering restricted grounds.
Pictures in the affidavit show Harrelson wearing a camouflage hat near a group that entered the grounds in a military-style stack formation. Records show he interacted with them as they went by. He was also seen milling about the rotunda with his phone hoisted up as if taking photos or videos, according to the report.
Federal authorities have already identified the rioters in that stack as members of the Oath Keepers, a loosely organized group that believes “that the federal government has been co-opted by a cabal of elites actively trying to strip American citizens of their rights.” The group is known to recruit current and former first responders, law enforcement officers and military personnel, although anyone can join.
FBI agents claim they uncovered messages and recorded transmissions from Oath Keepers affiliated with Harrelson that stated, “You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” along with “All members are in the tunnels under capital (sic) seal them in. Turn on gas,” and “We stormed and got inside.”
While those messages were sent on Jan. 6, records show Harrelson and other members began planning their response in Sept. 30, 2020, when they took part in a Go To Meeting titled “dc planning call.” Harrelson is accused of attending or organizing 30 of those meetings prior to the riot.
His usernames included “gator 6,” “hotel 26″ and “kenneth harrelson.”
If convicted, Harrelson faces a maximum of 36 years in prison and $850,000 in fines.
Harrelson’s arrest is the second locally this week in connection with the Capitol riot. Records show Howard Berton Adams was taken into custody Wednesday on charges of civil disorder, intimidation or force against a witness, entering a restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The allegations against Adams were not discussed during a court hearing and his charging affidavit has not been made available.
On Jan. 6, a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters pushed past police and entered the Capitol building as lawmakers were preparing to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win. Five people died during the violence: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick and four demonstrators.
At least 250 arrests have been made thus far, a number that includes several Floridians.
Anyone with information about someone who was involved in the riot can find details on how to report them here.
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