Florida Oath Keepers member pleads guilty to Jan. 6 Capitol riot charges

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol Building is stormed by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, 2021

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. Marine from Florida on Wednesday became the latest defendant associated with the Oath Keepers militia group to plead guilty to criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Jason Dolan, 45, of Wellington, Florida, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstructing an official proceeding. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said that under federal sentencing guidelines, Dolan faced a prison term of between 63 and 78 months, though the court could deviate from the guidelines.

Mehta said Dolan had already provided "substantial assistance" to investigators and would be available to provide grand jury and trial testimony and to be interviewed by investigators.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Washington D.C. said that as of Wednesday, more than 600 defendants had been arrested on riot-related charges.

The riot by supporters of then-President Donald Trump broke out as Congress met to certify Joe Biden's November presidential election victory. Earlier, Trump gave a fiery speech falsely claiming his defeat was the result of fraud.

Public records indicate that four other defendants linked to the Oath Keepers previously pleaded guilty to Jan. 6 riot charges. Prosecutors said that over 50 defendants have pleaded guilty to federal charges connected to the Capitol riot and that many "will face incarceration at sentencing."

While at least 40 riot-related guilty pleas were to misdemeanor charges, nine defendants have pleaded guilty to felonies, prosecutors said.

An indictment laying out the criminal case against Dolan and 17 other Oath Keeper defendants alleges that on Jan. 6, Dolan pushed his way to the front of the crowd on the Capitol's east steps and grabbed the arm of a police officer who pushed him away.

Half an hour later, the indictment says, Dolan joined a "stack" of Oath Keepers maneuvering its way up the Capitol steps which "forcibly entered the Capitol." Eventually they entered the Capitol's Rotunda.

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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