© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Police clear the U.S. Capitol Building with tear gas as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather outside, in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo
(Corrects spelling of lawyer’s name to A.J. Balbo instead of Attilo Balbo, paragraph 4)
By Mark Hosenball
(Reuters) -An 18th person with links to the far right Oath Keepers militia accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot has been added to an indictment and pleaded not guilty on Friday.
Brian Ulrich, 43, of Guyton, Georgia, who was arrested on Aug. 9, faces three riot charges, including conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.
On Jan. 6, supporters of then-President Donald Trump sought to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory and stormed the building.
At a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, defense lawyer A.J. Balbo said Ulrich was entering not guilty pleas to all the charges. The judge indicated April as a possible trial date.
The judge approved Ulrich’s pre-trial release, but said bail conditions included a ban on access to encrypted data or apps.
One of the 18 defendants from the Oath Keepers has already pled guilty to riot-related charges, as have three others associated with the organization.
More than 570 people have faced charges arising from the riot. At least 36 have pleaded guilty to riot-related charges.
The latest indictment said that in late December, Ulrich engaged in discussions on an encrypted app saying: “The more patriots the merrier” and talked about “having a backpack with my ammo load.”
The indictment said that as the riot unfolded, Ulrich and several other defendants first rode around the Capitol in golf carts. After parking the vehicles, the indictment said, Ulrich and others then moved “in a stack formation” towards the Capitol.
The indictment did not say Ulrich was one of the Oath Keepers in a stack formation which surged up the Capitol steps but says he did enter the building later.
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