Oath Keeper is first suspect to plead guilty in Capitol riot

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FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. At least 10 Ohioans have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection at the U.S Capitol after being identified through social media and surveillance footage to the FBI. The group includes people linked to the Oath Keepers militia group who have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) — A member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group has become the first defendant to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Jon Ryan Schaffer is also a heavy metal guitarist in the band Iced Earth.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said Friday he has agreed to cooperate with investigators in hopes of getting a lighter sentence, and the Justice Department will consider putting Schaffer in the federal witness security program.

This signals that federal prosecutors see him as a valuable cooperator as they continue to investigate the militia groups and other extremists involved in the insurrection on Jan. 6.

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