Seven from the valley were charged for their role in the riots in and around the U.S. capital on January 6 last year. It was just the foot soldiers.
A federal grand jury on Thursday charged ten people, including a Phoenix man, with the much more serious charge of rebellious conspiracy.
Edward Vallejo, 63, was also charged with conspiracy to prevent an official procedure, obstruction of an official procedure and conspiracy to prevent an officer from being dismissed during service.
“We only have [begun] The fight! “Vallejo said in the hours following the attack, according to a 48-page indictment filed in federal court.
Vallejo was born and raised in Arizona, records show. He does not have a criminal history. Instead, he has spent his career with Homefront Battle Buddies, a nonprofit organization in Arizona that provides resources to veterans. His picture appears on the website of the organization’s website.
Vallejo was an integral part of the coordination of the attack on the US Capitol, federal agents claim in court documents. They claim he helped transport firearms, organized teams and combat training and used violence against law enforcement in an attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election by force.
On December 30, 2020, Vallejo was added to a group chat on Google Hangouts called “DC OP: Jan 6 21,” shows records. He and other accomplices, orchestrated by alt-right Oath Keeper militia leader Stewart Rhodes of Texas, planned the uprising in a conversation with encrypted online messages there.
“We’ll have to make a bloody, massively bloody revolution against them,” he told other Oath Keepers, speaking of the upcoming Biden administration. “That’s what’s going to happen.”
In the days leading up to the riot, cabalists checked into a Comfort Inn hotel in Arlington, Virginia, records show. One room was occupied by Vallejo and other members of the Arizona Quick Reaction Force. The group used the hotel room to store and guard firearms, according to the indictment.
On January 4, 2021, Vallejo sent a message to co-defendant in the indictment Kelly Meggs of Florida, saying “Sir, Ed Vallejo of Arizona in Tenn. With cadres requesting coordinates for Allied camps outside DC’s borders to meet. please ASAP. For the Republic. ”
Between January 1 and 5, Vallejo transported firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment from Virginia to Washington, DC, according to court documents.
On the morning of the attack, Vallejo discussed the likelihood of “armed conflict” and “guerrilla warfare” between his group and law enforcement after he and his accomplices wanted to break the Capitol.
“There are people who are prepared, have the will, have the facilities to do more than mock,” he said.
Around 2:30 p.m., Jan. 6, Vallejo told the group he had two trucks on standby, according to court records, and said, “Just say the word.”
After the mob of more than 2,000 forced into the Senate chamber, Vallejo met his comrades at a restaurant in the suburb of DC to celebrate the attack and discuss the next steps, court documents claim. After dinner, he sent a message to the group.
“We’re back at 6am to do it again … they should let us in,” he said. “We got food for 30 days.”
On January 12, while in Texas on the drive back to Arizona from Washington, DC, a QRF team member from Arizona Rhodes sent a message: “Hi Stewart. I’m sure you’re in a hurry, but would like to tell you [Vallejo] and I’m here … We’re excited to learn the next steps and would like to know what to do right now. ”
Five people died and several were injured in the attack. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland this month called the resulting Department of Justice investigation “the largest federal investigation in history.”
The latest of more than 700 people named as suspects brought the Oath Keeper militia Rhodes, a good friend of Vallejo, and nine of his cohort before a federal grand jury.
Also affiliated with the Oath Keepers is Queen Creek resident James Ray Epps, who was seen on video urging the mob to enter the U.S. capital and was the center of an FBI informant conspiracy theory that was interrupted this week.
Listed as president of the Arizona Oath Keeper State Chapter in 2011, Epps drives Rocking R Farms and Knotty Barn out of Queen Creek, less than 30 miles from where former President Donald Trump will gather in Florence on Saturday. He has not been charged or arrested for his role in the agitation on January 6, 2021.
Dozens of one-star reviews on the wedding venue he owns with his wife point to his role in the attack on the capital with calls for the company to shut down forever.
“Great place to plan an uprising,” Derek Helbert wrote in a review.
“This guy is a far right mothers job, avoid,” wrote another reviewer.
“Storm the capital in their spare time,” wrote Tiffany Hernandez. “That’s not the type of business owner I want to deal with. Very dangerous.”
And there are dozens more. The venue’s profile on Google is filled with prayers for his prosecution. 62 of its 170 reviews are one-star jabs, referring to January 6th.
Epps did not return from the Phoenix New Times’ attempt to contact him by phone and email, a trend he has maintained since a solitary interview with Arizona Republic on January 11, 2021. He has been called a coward online.
“If you do not speak out in public, I can assure you that the time will come when you have no choice,” reviewer Mike Boileau wrote to Epps this week. “A time when you want to find yourself in jail.”
Vallejo risks 20 years in prison for conspiring to overthrow the US government.