Another alleged Oath Keepers member—accused of knowing about the stockpile of firearms that the militia organization is reported to have stored inside a hotel just outside of Washington—planned to plead guilty Tuesday to two felony charges related to the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6, according to unsealed court documents.
Caleb Berry was slated to plead guilty Tuesday to conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, following the guilty plea and cooperation deal of 54-year-old alleged Oath Keepers member Mark Grods in late June.
Two other suspects include heavy metal guitarist Jon Schaffer and Florida man Graydon Young whose defections are reported to have left the Oath Keepers fractured and torn apart. The recent unsealing of Berry's case delivers another blow Tuesday to the group, Law & Crime reported.
According to the court records, Berry intended to plead guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of conspiracy and felony obstructing an official proceeding. Prosecutors allege that Berry took part in the group's military "stack" formation at the Capitol and then he and the others forced their way into the doors of the Capitol at 2:40 pm before leaving the federal building about 14 minutes later.
The "stack" or "column formation" had "maneuvered in an organized fashion" up the steps on the east side of the Capitol with each member "keeping at least one hand on the shoulder of the other in front of them," the document describes.
"At the top of the steps, BERRY and others known and unknown joined and then pushed forward as part of a mob that aggressively advanced towards the Rotunda Doors at the central east entrance to the Capitol, assaulted the officers guarding the doors, threw objects and sprayed chemicals towards the officers and the doors, and pulled violently on the doors," the defendant's criminal information reads.
Berry's group was "[m]oving together in a military 'stack' formation while utilizing hand signals to maintain communication and coordination while advancing toward the Capitol as part of the January 6 operation," the filing alleges.
The document cites that Berry "and others known and unknown retrieved firearms from the Comfort Inn Ballston hotel in Arlington, Virginia," on Jan. 7.
Berry's arraignment and plea hearing was scheduled for 3 pm Tuesday via videoconference when he was set to agree to assist federal prosecutors in the case.
Prosecutors were expected to ask Berry for information about alleged pre-planning and surveillance that the Oath Keepers did near the Capitol before Jan. 6. Berry also "traveled to and then observed the restricted Capitol grounds" on Jan. 5, one day before the storming, according to the charging documents.
The criminal information was filed against Berry on July 9, along with a motion to seal information about the cooperation agreement. "Disclosure of these documents and this docket would endanger other aspects of the government's ongoing investigation, including the destruction of evidence and the safety of potential witnesses, to include the defendant," Assistant US Attorney Alexandra Hughes wrote in a motion to seal.
"Making the criminal Information public may reveal the existence of the defendant's cooperation and potential plea, given that the filing of an information by the government typically precedes a guilty plea."
The prosecutor noted that premature disclosure could compromise the investigation and cause alarm. "If alerted to this information, investigation targets against whom the defendant may be providing information about could be immediately prompted to flee from prosecution, destroy or conceal incriminating evidence, alter their operational tactics to avoid future detection, attempt to influence or intimidate potential witnesses, and otherwise take steps to undermine the investigation and avoid future prosecution," the motion reads.