Ladera Ranch resident Russell Taylor, who once texted that he wanted to “be one of the first to break in the door” of the US Capitol, agreed to a plea deal in court. federal government in Washington, DC, on Wednesday for his role in the January 6 uprising.
Taylor, one of six members of a Southern California group called DC . Brigade, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The settlement means that many additional charges against Taylor, including illegal possession of dangerous weapons on the capital’s premises and in buildings, have been dropped. In return, the government could call on Taylor to testify against his accomplices.
Taylor’s accomplices, according to court records, include former La Habra Sheriff Alan Hostetter, and Riverside County Three Percenters militia members Derek Kinnison in Lake Elsinore, Felipe “Tony” Martinez of Lake Elsinore, Erik Scott Warner in Menifee and Ronald Mele in Temecula.
The men were indicted on June 9, 2021, and Taylor was arrested in Orange the next day. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges when charged on June 28, 2021.
According to court documentsTaylor and members of the DC Brigade stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, along with Taylor, calling the action the start of a “revolt!”
Taylor said at a rally before the Supreme Court on January 5 that “we will fight and we will shed blood before we allow the deprivation of our liberties,” according to the statement. court documents.
He and the insurgents do not accept the legitimacy of the 2020 election and, according to court documentsplanned not to leave Washington until “this election is right, our liberties are restored, and America is preserved.”
court documents said that Taylor, Hostetter and others met at the Ellipse near the White House to deliver then-President Trump’s January 6 speech and marched to the Capitol afterward.
Taylor wears a protective armor with black plates and has a knife in his vest pocket and a stun baton in his backpack, court records speak.
For the knife, according to court documentsTaylor was denied entry to the Ellipse by the Secret Service because of Trump’s speech.
court records say Taylor directed a rebel group on the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace into the building and warned police not to get involved, saying, “Last chance, guys. Back off!” However, Taylor did not enter the building.
In the days leading up to the uprising, Taylor helped organize “a group of fighters” in a private, encrypted group chat via the instant messaging app Telegram, according to court records. More than 35 members participated in the California Patriot-DC Brigade planning sequence.
“I am assuming that you have some kind of weapon that you are carrying with you and [body armor] also,” he is cited in court documentsSuggest the group bring axes, bats, and large metal flashlights.
In court documentsOther members of the group texted that they were bringing guns to Washington.
Taylor’s journey to the uprising began last spring. Hostetter founded My Phoenix Projecta company based in San Clemente Nonprofit, in 2020 and against COVID-19 restrictions.
The duo also amplified Trump’s stolen election statements.
The two spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Huntington Beach on December 12, 2020, in which Hostetter said that “America’s enemies and traitors… must be held accountable,” according to the statement. court records. He supports long prison sentences and executions.
According to court documents, Taylor and Hostetter began communicating via Telegram with other members of the DC Brigade.
On December 20, Taylor posted a link to a Trump tweets from the beginning of the day. In the message, the president said it was “statistically impossible to lose the 2020 Election” and that there would be “a massive protest in DC on January 6.”
Taylor asked the members, “Who’s going?”