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70-year-old Ohio man, his 60-year-old wife face federal charges for roles in deadly US Capitol riots

By Chris Anderson | February 19, 2021 at 11:23 AM EST – Updated February 19 at 11:23 AM

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office said two more Ohio residents have been charged for allegedly taking part in the Jan. 6 deadly insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

According to federal court documents, 70-year-old Bennie Parker and 60-year-old Sandra Parker face charges that include:

  • Conspiracy
  • Destruction of government property and aiding and abetting
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting
  • Restricted building or grounds

Both are alleged to have “dressed in a uniform consisting of camouflaged-combat attire” and operate with several members of the “Oath Keepers Militia” during the Pro-Donald Trump riots against the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“The Oath Keepers are a large but loosely-organized collection of militia that believe that the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip the American citizens of their rights.”

Federal affidavit

Federal investigators said Bennie Parker breached the U.S. Capitol, damaged property and obstructed Congress’ proceedings while Sandra communicated from outside with Oath Keepers who were inside during the insurrection. She eventually entered the Capitol, according to evidence listed in a federal affidavit.

The Parkers were identified as suspects after investigators found Bennie’s contact number listed in the cell phone of another alleged Oath Keepers member from Ohio who was arrested in connection to the riots.

A search of Jessica Watkins’ phone revealed text messages, dating back to November 2020, discussing what weapons could be brought to the riots and preparations for breaching the Capitol building.

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple (Source: U.S. District Attorney for Southern Ohio)

Surveillance video and hotel records also show that the Parkers rented a room at a Northern Virginia moel and met with members of the Oath Keepers on the day before the riots.

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple (Source: U.S. District Attorney for Southern Ohio)

Numerous image and videos from the day of the deadly protests also allegedly show both Parkers at the Capitol grounds and inside the building.

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple (Source: U.S. District Attorney for Southern Ohio)

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple

Evidence presented by federal investigators against married Ohio couple (Source: U.S. District Attorney for Southern Ohio)

The Parkers joined a growing list of Ohioans facing federal charges for allegedly participating in the riots.

RELATED:

[ 2 Ohio militia members charged in deadly Capitol protest ]

[ Ohio man charged in connection with participation in Capitol protests ]

[ Ohio man identified by work jacket at deadly riots charged with breaking US Capitol window ]

[ Man believed to have ties to Northeast Ohio wanted for allegedly assaulting federal officer during US Capitol riots ]

[ 2 more Ohioans charged in violent U.S. Capitol protest ]

[ Sen. Brown on violent, deadly riots at US Capitol: ‘Domestic terrorists, that’s what they were’ ]

Arrest warrants were issued for the Parkers on Feb. 12. They were both taken into custody and appeared via video for their initial hearings on Thursday.

Court records show that the married couple was released from custody on no bond. The case has since been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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