Third Oath Keeper pleads guilty to role in U.S. Capitol riot

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An Alabama man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to joining with other members of the far-right Oath Keepers in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Federal prosecutors said Mark Grods, 54, of Mobile, was arrested Wednesday after agreeing Monday to plead guilty to criminal charges — an unusual move, suggesting that he was already cooperating with investigators.

Court documents said he agreed to cooperate going forward with the prosecutors as they work to bring charges against others involved in the riot. He is the third person accused of being an Oath Keeper who has agreed to cooperate.

Grods admitted that he communicated with other Oath Keepers in the weeks leading up to the Capitol siege and drove to Washington, bringing a shotgun and a handgun, which he gave to another person to store in a Virginia hotel.

On Jan. 6, he rode with other Oath Keepers in golf carts and entered the Capitol with some of them after lining up in a military-style stack formation, according to his signed statement of the offense. Court documents said he carried a large stick but was inside the Capitol for only four minutes, leaving after police "began deploying chemical irritants" toward him.

His lawyer declined a request to comment on the plea.

Last week, Graydon Young of Florida pleaded guilty to joining with other Oath Keepers in storming the US Capitol. And in April, Jon Schaffer of Indiana admitted that he entered the Capitol while wearing a tactical vest and armed with bear spray. He, too, agreed to cooperate with investigators.

More than 500 people now face charges connected to the riot, including over 130 people accused of assaulting or impeding police officers.

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