INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man who is a member of the Oath Keepers was arrested Thursday for his participation in the storming of the U.S. Capital on January 6 of 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Michael Greene, age 39, was arrested in Indiana and is being charged for the first time in connection with his actions before, during and after Jan. 6. Greene, who also is known as Michael Simmons, was indicted on a total of five charges: conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

“As alleged in the indictments, the Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias,” the DOJ said. “Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel. Members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers were among the individuals and groups who forcibly entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”

According to the indictment, Greene also used the monikers “Whip” and “Whiplash.” He participated in an online meeting on Nov. 9 of 2020 in which Elmer Stewart Rhodes — a Texas man who is the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers — outlined a plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power, said the DOJ. Greene later was chosen by Rhodes to be an operations leader for activities on Jan. 6. Greene, Rhodes and others made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation, the DOJ added.

The co-conspirators then traveled across the country to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in early January of 2021. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, Greene and others transported firearms, ammunition and other related items to the D.C. metropolitan area, according to the indictment.

On Jan. 6, Greene and Rhodes departed a hotel in Virginia at about 8:30 a.m. and drove to the Capitol area. The DOJ said each entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and directed co-conspirators to meet them at the Capitol. At 1:42 p.m., Greene sent a text message to an acquaintance stating, “Storming the capital,” along with a photograph that depicted the advancing mob on the west side of the Capitol grounds, per the DOJ.

Greene communicated with Rhodes and others during the afternoon. At about 3:09 p.m., Greene texted an acquaintance, “Congress evacuated.” After teams of other Oath Keepers entered and exited the Capitol, Greene and Rhodes met them in a plaza outside the building, the DOJ said. The indictment alleges that sometime on or after Jan. 6, Greene deleted media, files and communications that showed his involvement in the activities from his cellphone.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and is being investigated by the FBI.

The DOJ said in the 17 months since Jan. 6 of 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

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