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Ohio Town Unknowingly Hosts Capitol Attack Plotter – NBC4 Washington

Don’t blink in this one-stop light town. Dozens of residents still carry the flags of “Trump 2020” and “Make America Great Again”.

But this month, it’s now the shutter-released bar that took the FBI and other agents to Woodstock, about 40 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio’s capital. Bed sheets and drapes cover the windows of Jolly Roger Bar and Grill. However, slivers whose “OPEN” symbol flashes in red, white, and blue are excluded.

Federal officials said in a social media post that Army veteran Jessica Watkins has partnered with Oath Keepers, an extremist militarist group founded in 2019, as a member of a local militia group. Claims to have recruited and cared for the bar. There are thousands of members nationwide.

In a criminal accusation filed on January 19 and a federal indictment on Wednesday, Watkins and her militia member former Marine Donovan Ray Kraul, along with a Virginia man, plan an attack on January 6. And the US Capitol was charged with assisting in the coordination.

Many of the first images from the Parliamentary assault contained colorful characters such as the self-proclaimed “Q Anon Shaman” with horns, but the army in olive dull clothes and helmets. A more disturbing image appeared showing the formation of a riot like. Goggles and items ready for assault.

“We have a good group,” federal officials say Watkins sent that day. “We have about 30-40 people. We stick together and stick to the plan.”

Church deacon Keith Puck said the members of the Free Will Baptist Church, a few blocks away from Jolly Roger, were trying to wrap their heads.

“I was just shocked that it was in the small town of Woodstock,” said Puck, who lives near a town of less than 300 people.

Freddie Cruz, a research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, wants to overturn Republican Donald Trump’s election defeat, while Woodstock and others through a bold riot that killed five people. Agreed to be “shocking” in the limelight.

While shocking, Cruz added, it shouldn’t have been.

“That’s pretty worrisome. I think the general media and federal agencies have dropped the ball to take these groups seriously,” Cruz said. He is like the army for the Second Sudanese Civil War in an apocalyptic fantasy fueled by the story of a conspiracy that many rebel groups have been very active for years and Trump barely discouraged. He said he was training.

According to court records, in November Watkins sent a text message to several interested in joining a local militia group to attend a “weekly basic training class” in early January. Prompted. According to Watkins, the class was scheduled to take place an hour north of Columbus, probably in Woodstock or a nearby town.

“I need you to fight health by taking office,” the 38-year-old told another interested member. “This is a basic military style, and here in Ohio, Marine Corps sergeants are doing it.”

Social media comments from Watkins yelling about “historical events created today” in indictment on Wednesday, including conspiracy to imprison up to 20 years in prison and filibuster charges, federal officials And quote the photo.

I hear another voice recommending her: “Get it, Jess … everything we (curse) trained.”

Records show that Watkins honored the Army under another name, including his mission in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2003. It was renamed to Jessica Marie Watkins in 2004, according to court records in Rochester, New York. She also lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Before settling in Woodstock about three years ago, he was the first responder to emergency medical training.

She and her boyfriend Montanasinif owned the two-story building they lived in and started Jolly Roger. The Jerry Morgan & Certified Outlaw Band Facebook page shows that he played Jolly Roger in 2019. Jolly Roger’s own Facebook page has been suspended.

Phil Garland, chairman of Woodstock’s village council and resident for about 20 years, was dazzled by the news.

“It’s a small town, but if you weren’t born and raised there, a lot of things are happening and you’re not going to know about it,” Garland said.

Settled by New Englanders in the early 19th century, the village of Champaign County, named after Woodstock, Vermont, was mostly dominated by retired lifelong residents. But about 10 years ago, things began to change as the elders died and young people moved to Columbus and Dayton in search of affordability and convenience. According to the census, nearly 98% are white, and it’s a solid and conservative town that can be stolen or destroyed if you put up a lawn sign for a Democratic candidate.

But Garland said the village was “mostly” friendly.

Church butler Puck said there was a lot of speculation about Watkins and Klaul, but to him it was mostly rumors, and he didn’t want recurring rumors.

Watkins’ boyfriend didn’t reply for comment this week.

Her militia group is believed to be small. At least three members peacefully protested the presidential election outside the Ohio Statehouse in November.

“We’ve noticed this group, but while we’re at the Ohio Statehouse, we don’t know about criminal accusations or investigations into their activities,” said Ohio State Public Safety spokesman Kristen Castle. I am. She said she could not comment on ongoing investigations or information gathering.

Rick Campbell, who participated in the Vietnam War, had a hard time dealing with what happened about 15 miles from the post of a foreign war veteran in Marysville, Ohio.

“This isn’t patriotism, it’s what they did,” Campbell, 73, said. “These radicals do not represent what I have represented in the military.”

According to the FBI, a search of Watkins’ home found personal protective equipment and communications equipment, homemade weapons, and methods for making plastic explosives.

Dayton’s Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovinton refused to bail 50 Crowles, quoted information that he wanted to go home with 9 guns, and found a way to secure public safety with him. Said not. A lawyer appointed in Crowl’s court did not respond to the two messages seeking comment.

Both remain imprisoned in Dayton. Watkins’ lawyer was not listed in the court filings.

Dayton Daily News reported that Watkins replied when asked at her first court appearance whether she understood the accusation against her:

Just five days before the Capitol riot, Watkins posted his photo on social media at Jolly Roger, complaining that it was empty on Saturday, and slammed Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine on anti-pandemic restrictions on bars. Mention, “Thank you for everything DeWine.”

She added: “I think I’m going to pack for DC. See you.”

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Sewell reported from Cincinnati. Farnoush Amiri is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on unreported issues.

Through the Associated Press partnership, Associated Press researchers Ronda Schaffner and Jennifer Farrer of New York contributed to this report with Freddie Brewster, a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Follow Dan Sewell on https://www.twitter.com/dansewell and follow Farnoush Amiri on https://twitter.com/FarnoushAmiri.



Ohio Town Unknowingly Hosts Capitol Attack Plotter – NBC4 Washington

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