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Leader of Alabama chapter of Oath Keepers pleads guilty to Jan. 6 charges

Leader of Alabama chapter of Oath Keepers pleads guilty to Jan. 6 charges
Joshua James, the leader of the Alabama chapter of the Oath Keepers right-wing militia group pleaded guilty Wednesday to two charges, including seditious conspiracy over his role in the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol building in 2021, with each charge carrying the possibility of up to 20 years in prison. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- The leader of the Alabama chapter of the right-wing militia Oath Keepers pleaded guilty to charges related to the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol in federal court Wednesday.

Joshua James, 34, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, stemming from his involvement in and leading up to the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol building, the Justice Department announced.

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He faces up to 20 years in prison for the charge. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

James, a military veteran, also agreed to cooperate with the ongoing federal investigation into the riot.

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Under the guilty plea, he admitted to using encrypted and private communications and conspiring with other Oath Keepers to "use force to prevent, hinder and delay the execution of the laws of the United States governing the transfer of presidential power."

He also transported a number of weapons to Washington, D.C., and donned tactical gear ahead of the riot, according to his plea.

After learning police were looking for him on the evening of the riot, James then traveled to Texas where "he helped co-conspirators amass thousands of dollars' worth of firearms, ammunition and firearms equipment -- some of which he later stored in storage sheds in Alabama -- and prepared to distribute the equipment to others and to engage in violence in the event of a civil war," according to court documents.

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James was arrested March 9.

He was indicted Jan. 12 along with 10 other defendants in the District of Columbia. The other 10 have pleaded not guilty.

The case was being investigated by the FBI's Washington and Birmingham field offices.

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Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 750 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 235 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

President Joe Biden, members of Congress mark anniversary of Capitol attack

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,, speaks at a candlelight vigil on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

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