Thomasville Oath Keeper not among those charged with seditious conspiracy

Thomasville Oath Keeper not among those charged with seditious conspiracy

8:04pm Jan 13, 2022
Federal investigators say this image shows Laura Steele and others moving in a military "stack" formation during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Image from federal court documents related to Steele's arrest.

Eleven people who the U.S. Justice Department says are part of the Oath Keepers militia group face charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6 insurrection. 

The charges mark a serious escalation of the government’s case against Pro-Trump rioters accused of trying to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. 

One of the purported Oath Keepers originally charged is Laura Steele of Thomasville. Investigators say she was part of a military-style “stack” formation that moved through the crowd and up the Capitol steps.

Steele was not among those additionally charged with seditious conspiracy. But one of the members of that stack, Kelly Meggs of Florida, is facing that higher charge, according to the Department of Justice.

Steele is still accused of attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.

Steele cited 13 years of law enforcement experience in North Carolina on her Oath Keeper application, adding she had served as a K-9 officer and on the SWAT team. 

High Point police say she worked for the department from 1992 to 2004. She was terminated for conduct toward superior personnel, absence from duty, and violation of communications policy.

Sedition charges are difficult to win and rarely used, but defendants face steep prison time of 20 years if convicted. 

The allegations represent only the government’s side of the case.

 

 

Copyright 2022 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
Support your
public radio station