Most insurrection defendants from Arizona pleaded guilty
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The riot that scarred the nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, lasted about six hours. But two years after the last protester left the Capitol Rotunda, hundreds of criminal cases are still making their way through the federal court system.
Prosecutors have charged more than 950 people so far due to their alleged involvement in the riot. Fifteen of those cases involve people with connections to Arizona. Charges include civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, assault and seditious conspiracy. The most recognizable defendant is Jacob Chansley. The so-called “QAnon Shaman” was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
In all, eight defendants with ties to Arizona have already pleaded guilty or have been sentenced. The remaining five cases are preparing for trial or are in the middle of trial, as in the cases of Edward Vallejo. Vallejo is a member of the Oath Keepers Militia and faces seditious conspiracy charges.
This week, prosecutors introduced video evidence that shows Vallejo using a dolly to cart large crates into a Washington, D.C., area hotel during the morning of January 6, 2021. Prosecutors allege that the crates carried guns and ammunition. They also released a text message from Vallejo to Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, sent that afternoon. It reads, “Vallejo back at hotel and outfitted. Have two trucks available. Let me know how I can assist.”
Last January, one of Vallejo’s friends told Arizona’s Family Investigates that the defendant was a peaceful patriot. “He’s passionate about his beliefs; he’s passionate about his opinions. He’s passionate about helping veterans, and it’s a shame that the government twisted his words expressing those passions to be used against him to make him seem like a danger,” said Adam Kokesh.
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