Tampa Oath Keepers affiliate pleads guilty to role in Capitol riot

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A defendant in the Capitol Riots with Tampa connections pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, one day after another Tampa man was sentenced to eight months in prison for his crimes.

Caleb Berry, 20, of Tampa pleaded guilty to conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding for being part of the attempt to interfere with Congress’ certification of the electoral college on Jan. 6, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the National Security Division.

Berry is said to be an associate with the Oath Keepers, a far-right, anti-government militia movement. As part of his plea agreement, Berry has sworn to help the government’s investigation into the riots as it looks for more of the suspects involved in the breach.

Court documents state that Berry traveled with a group of Oath Keepers from Florida that, as Berry said, discussed plans for the event and the need for guns. The day of the riot, Berry met with some Oath Keepers for an event near the White House and went to the Capitol, entering restricted grounds at around 2:28 p.m.

“According to the court papers, they joined on the east side of the Capitol in a stack formation, with each co-conspirator keeping a hand on the shoulder of the person in front,” the release from the Department of Justice states. “Approximately 10 minutes later, Berry and some of his co-conspirators were on the plaza outside the east Rotunda doors, where some of them pushed against U.S. Capitol Police officers and the Rotunda doors to force them open and gain entry into the U.S. Capitol building. Berry and some of his co-conspirators went inside.”

Berry said he did so in order to stop the certification of the electoral college vote. He also admitted to deleting data on his cell phone, which including encrypted communications with his co-conspirators.

Berry faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 20 years for the obstruction charge. His status hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2021.

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