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Indianapolis Oath Keeper indicted for leading operations up to Jan. 6 insurrection

Michael Greene, 39, is facing an indictment for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Credit: AP
FILE - Rioters stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted an Indianapolis Oath Keeper for leading operations up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Michael Greene, 39, is facing an indictment for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Greene, who also is known as Michael Simmons, is facing five charges:

  • Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding
  • Conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties
  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
  • Tampering with documents or proceedings.

According to the indictment, Greene also used the monikers "Whip" and "Whiplash."

He is accused of participating in an online meeting on Nov. 9, 2020, in which Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes outlined a plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.

Rhodes later chose Greene to be an operations leader for activities on Jan. 6. 

Greene, Rhodes, and others made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation. They then traveled across the country to the Washington, D.C. area in early January 2021. 

Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, 2021, according to the indictment, Greene and others transported firearms, ammunition, and other related items to the Washington, D.C. area.

Credit: Susan Walsh / Associated Press
Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, speaks at a rally outside the White House in 2017.

RELATED: Jan. 6 hearing takeaways: Trump risked provoking 'constitutional crisis'

The indictment said on Jan. 6, Greene and Rhodes departed a hotel in Virginia at approximately 8:30 a.m. and drove to the Capitol area. 

Each later entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and directed co-conspirators to meet them at the Capitol. 

At 1:42 p.m., Greene allegedly sent a text message to an acquaintance stating, "Storming the capital," along with a photograph that depicted the advancing mob on the west side of the Capitol grounds. 

Greene communicated with Rhodes and others during the afternoon. At about 3:09 p.m., Greene allegedly texted an acquaintance, "Congress evacuated."

Credit: AP
A mob of Trump supporters stand on top of a police vehicle, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington before breaching the building.

RELATED: FBI arrests northern Indiana man in connection with Capitol attack

After teams of other Oath Keepers entered and exited the Capitol, Greene and Rhodes are accused of meeting them in a plaza outside the building. The indictment alleges that sometime on or after Jan. 6, Greene deleted from his cellphone certain media, files, and communications that showed his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Greene was arrested in Indiana on Thursday. He is expected to make his initial court appearance Friday in the Southern District of Indiana.

According to the FBI, in the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

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