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Former NC police officers arrested for role in Capitol riot. 52-year-old is part of Oath Keepers group, feds allege

Former NC police officers arrested for role in Capitol riot. 52-year-old is part of Oath Keepers group, feds allege

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The Department of Justice says this photo shows Laura Steele and Graydon Young, captured on surveillance video from the Washington Metro Transit Authority, going from Springfield, Virginia to Washington, D.C. the morning of Jan. 6.

A former High Point police officer faces charges for her alleged role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville was arrested on Wednesday in Greensboro and charged with conspiring to obstruct the U.S. Congress' certification of the presidential election results.

Steele is married to Kenneth Steele, an assistant police chief in High Point.

Steele and the other nine co-defendants were also charged with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, one count of depredation against federal government property and unlawful entry, disorderly conduct or violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.

According to U.S. Department of Justice, Steele's "co-conspirators" included six others arrested last week: her brother, Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida; Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, of Dunnellon, Florida; Sandra Ruther Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, of Morrow, Ohio. They are accused of participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Three others were arrested earlier, authorities said.

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The Department of Justice says a witness identified Laura Steele in the lower right corner of this photograph, as well as her brother, Graydon Young. Federal investigators allege the photo was taken inside a van when the two were traveling from North Carolina to the Washington, D.C., area on Jan. 5.

All nine belong to a group called Oath Keepers, according to court documents. Members of the loosely organized group, some of whom are connected to the military and law enforcement, believe that the federal government has been infiltrated by a cabal of elites insistent on stripping Americans of their rights.

Kelly Meggs is a self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers. 

In late December, Kelly Meggs wrote in a Facebook message, "Trump said It's gonna be wild!!!!!!! It's gonna be wild!!!!!!! He wants us to make it WILD that's what he's saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your s***!!" He later said in the Facebook post that there would be 50,000 to 100,000 Oath Keepers there.

Young also arranged for himself and others to be trained by a Florida company that specializes in firearms and combat training, according to the news release. 

On Jan. 6, thousands of people descended on Washington, D.C., many falsely believing that Joe Biden stole the election from former president Donald Trump. For months, Trump and his supporters had alleged, without any evidence, that widespread voter fraud had resulted in Trump's loss. Hundreds of lawsuits were thrown out across the country because attorneys for Trump failed to present any evidence of widescale wrongdoing. 

Five people died as a result of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and 139 law-enforcement officials were assaulted. 

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@mhewlettWSJ

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