A jury delivered the Justice Department another victory in its prosecution of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, returning a guilty verdict on rarely used seditious conspiracy charges for all four members on trial in its second prosecution of the group.
Ed Vallejo, Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett and David Moerschel all received guilty verdicts for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, in which members of the militia group used a “stack” formation to force their way into the building.
The verdict comes just two months after a separate trial for five other members of the group, with that jury laying down a seditious conspiracy verdict for Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the group.
Seditious conspiracy — used to charge those who plot to overthrow the government — carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and hadn’t been used successfully since a 1990s terrorism case.
But the trial brings a dramatic turn in the Justice Department’s record in such cases.
The verdict comes after Rhodes and Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs were found guilty of seditious conspiracy in November.
Three other members tried alongside the two men were found not guilty of seditious conspiracy but received guilty verdicts on other charges that likewise carry up to 20 years in prison.
The second trial, brought after the nine defendants were split given the complications of bringing such a large group to trial, proved to be an even greater success for the Justice Department.
All four were also found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding.