Insurrection suspect, Florida ‘Oath Keeper’ due in Tampa court Monday

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Red arrow points to Graydon Young, in U.S. Capitol on Jan 6.

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – A member of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers organization, who allegedly volunteered “to provide security” for the mob that sacked the U.S. Capitol, was indicted on federal charges in connection with the insurrection.

Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, was arrested Monday and has been held in custody on six charges including entering a restricted building, tampering or destruction of records and documents and destruction of records in a federal investigation.

The Oath Keepers, called a radical, far-right-wing organization by critics, are made up of current and former military, police and first responders, according to the group’s website.

“Oath Keepers reaches (sic) out to both current serving and veterans to remind them of their oaths, to teach them more about the Constitution they swore to defend, and to inspire them to defend it,” the Oath Keepers’ web-page states.

Young, an Army and Navy Reserve veteran, asked to join the group’s Florida chapter on Dec. 3, according to the federal complaint.

The filing cites an email sent to Young and other Oath Keepers that stated the group would be “well-armed” and ready for “a worst-case scenario, where the President calls us up as part of the militia to to (sic) assist him inside D.C.”

Young is pictured in the Capitol rotunda in an image attached to the complaint that also includes a frame from Washington Metro surveillance video shows Young carrying a “tactical helmet” and wearing a military-style vest while travelling to Washington D.C. on the morning of Jan. 6.

The complaint said investigators used cell-phone data to place Young at the scene and stated on the evening of January 6 Young posted on his Facebook account, “We stormed and got inside.”

According to the complaint, the day after the insurrection, Young deleted all of his Facebook posts back to March 2019 and deleted his entire account on January 8.

When asked about the incident on Thursday, Young’s attorney Robert Foley would not comment.

“Given the circumstances of the case,” Foley said, “I’m going to pass on that for now.”

A probable cause hearing for Young in Tampa federal court was rescheduled from Friday to Monday.

According to court documents, prosecutors will request to hold Young without bail, alleging he is flight risk. Foley has argued he should be released on bail due to his strong ties to the community.

Young’s sister Laura Steele, of Thomasville, North Carolina was also indicted and spotted in Capitol surveillance pictures. According to the complaint, Steele stated in her Oath Keepers application that she had 13 years of experience in law enforcement.

“I served as a K-9 Officer and SWAT team member,” Steele said, according to the complaint.

Husband and wife Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, from Dunnellon, were arrested in Florida this week, and charged in the same indictment.

In the complaint, Kelly Meggs is said to be Young’s “team leader.”

A picture in the complaint shows what are purported to be the Meggs and Young “shortly after they breached and damaged the doors to the Capitol” along with hundreds of others.

Kelly Meggs

This Florida trio are the latest from the Oath Keepers to be snared in the federal investigation.

In another case related to the insurrection, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, was arrested Tuesday in the Middle District of Florida jurisdiction on three federal charges out of Washington, D.C., including violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.

Court documents indicate Hodgkins was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, surrendered his firearms and passport and agreed to a 1:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. curfew.

A Zoom conference is scheduled for Wednesday in Hodgkins’ case.

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