For the FBI, he is a militant leader who traveled to Washington, DC, and gave a storm to the US Capitol, encouraging others to do the same.
Jessica Watkins’s two worlds crashed into each other in the small village of Woodstock, Ohio, when FBI agents started a dawn to arrest her for her alleged role in the Jan. 6 rebellion.
Emma Dixon looked into a house across the street as a pre-eve witness, “We could hear so many sirens. And then we saw them screaming to come down with their hands and they didn’t come.”
When the FBI arrived in Woodstock, Watkins was not there. Her boyfriend was Montana Sinif. They reported that flash-bangs with CNN disorientation were used. A window was broken. It remained that way for days after.
He was questioned by FBI agents and eventually released. In a complaint filed in court, federal prosecutors said the agents recovered “seemed to have given directions to make explosives, written by ‘Jolly Roger’.” “Jolly Roger is also the name of Watkins Bar and is believed to link to the Facebook account. Its officials say.
“It’s a complete lie. She hates explosives. As a regular citizen there is no moral or legitimate way to actually use explosives,” Sineff said.
38-year-old Watkins is now lodged in the Montgomery County Jail, about 50 miles from Dayton.
The records show Watkins served in the military under a different name from April 2001 to December 2003. She was stationed in Afghanistan from September to December 2002.
The three giants were the first to face conspiracy charges, some of the most serious charges ever for those who dissolved the Capitol on 6 January.
CNN has found that the number of people accused in the Capitol attack is unsafe who are former members of the military.
‘the most beautiful thing’
No one disputes that Watkins went to the Capitol to protest against the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. She appears inside the Capitol Building bragging videos about it.
Her boyfriend said she went “within the rally to help protect some Trump VIP members”, but had no idea whose.
After dissolving the Capitol, Watkins described the scene inside the building as he saw it.
He said: “It was the kidnapping of some people that started as a peaceful movement.”
But the words of her parlor account after breech provide a very different perspective. He is exposed in a federal complaint against him.
“Yes. We stormed the Capitol today. Torn off completely. 9. Stopped our way into Rotanda. Made it to the Senate as well.”
Another post by Watkins used as evidence by the FBI stated: “We never broke anything, stole anything, lit anything, and truthfully we had great respect with Capitol Hill PD when Not until they attacked us. Then we raised our ground and drew the line. ”
Watkins and many others trained in the war came to Washington, some wearing their ballistic helmets, army fatigues and goggles.
The video shows a group of more than a dozen people, who lay hands on each other’s shoulders, march to the Capital Step.
Federal prosecutors say Watkins and others used the Zello phone app, which acts like a walkie-talkie, to communicate and plan attacks.
Watkins has yet to have a lawyer assigned to him. But her boyfriend did not speak on her behalf. The two Jolly Roger bars are together. They are both members of the group he has “commanded” under the name of the Ohio State Regular Militia. “He is not a violent person,” Sinif told CNN. “She can be very enthusiastic, but she is a very good person at heart and she really wants to help people.”
But law enforcement and many inside lawmen say that the rioters who broke the capitol put their lives in danger.
Link to far-right sworn
Siniff said that when local officials were absent or overwhelmed, Watkins formed a militia to help the victims of the tornado.
There is a long history of paramilitary groups establishing themselves in rural areas of Ohio, Michigan and elsewhere, and the FBI says that sometimes there is a darker side.
Watkins is a member of the pro-oath, pro-Trump, anti-government, far-right group that considers itself part of the militia movement to protect the country.
There is no private civilian militia that exists in the US. A militia is to be sanctioned by the state.
The oath keepers are clear that they try to recruit members from among the active or retired military, first responders, and the police, and its name sworn to “protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” refers to the.
In court documents, the FBI states, “Sworners will violate federal law if they believe they have just cause.”
Watkins’ alleged co-conspirators were named by the FBI as Donovin Kraul, former Marine, and Thomas Caldwell, who served in the Navy.
Crowl Watkins lives down the road from the Jolly Roger Bar and was a regular living there.
Neighbors told CNN that Watkins would try to recruit people when he arrived at the bar. Most did not take him up on this. But Crowl included Watkins and Sinif in his armed group.
“When drunk, he is the man you want to shut up. When you can be the best man, be calm,” Sinif said of the former Marine. “The militia was a good thing to help him … like it was a reason to calm down.”
CNN has reached out to Crowl’s lawyer but has not received a response.
Kraul’s criminal record reflects allegations of domestic abuse and drunk driving, some of which resulted in convictions. This was noted by the federal judge when his lawyer tried to release him before his trial. His lawyer said that he issued the release because he was not a threat to society.
“He was seen on the video saying, ‘We overcome the Capitol,’ his criminal history includes violence and alcohol offenses. He has also previously demonstrated noncompliance. He has a firearm with nine firearms at a residence The suggestion to leave is a non-starter, ”Judge. Sharon Ovington said. Kroll was remanded in custody awaiting a preliminary hearing in Ohio.
Rowe said, “It felt like they did a 180 degree vicissitude, it felt like the world was alive for them and they had a big chip on their shoulder.” “I don’t know if it’s because life didn’t go the way it planned.”
Asked why she thinks Crowl might be attracted to this extremist group, she said, “I’d like to understand myself. I don’t get it.”
Caldwell, a third veteran named as a co-conspirator, lives in secluded property down a country road, 400 miles from the Woodstock homes of Berryville, Woodkins and Croull, Virginia.
It is unclear how long Caldwell knew Crowl and Watkins. But the FBI says they met in Washington DC. Crowl took a video of himself and Watkins inside the Capitol and posted it on social media.
Outside Capital Caldwell clarified his sentiments on 6 January.
“Everyone is a traitor in a single b ****, every single one,” he yelled in a video, appearing to refer to legislators inside.
Caldwell was a name in his local Virginia political circles. He was a delegate to the Clark County, Virginia, Republican convention last year.
A lawyer temporarily assigned to Caldwell said at a detention hearing that his opposition to Biden’s electoral victory was not out of the ordinary, and he was not accused of a violent crime.
But the judge said: “The conduct and statements of Mr. Caldwell and others, it is really just pure lawlessness,” Magistrate Judge Joel Hope of federal court in Harrisonburg, Virginia, said on Tuesday.
Strong support for Watkins
Woodstock Village is home to around 300 people. A cluster of several houses remain around the intersection, and the only traffic signal still flies through the banner of “Trump 2020”.
According to the American Code, “Don’t Tried On Me” or the Gadsden flags of the American Revolution and a star and stripes are being hoisted upside down – a sign of “grave crisis”.
Some villagers had enmity with our CNN crew, asking the local sheriff to complain twice. Others were happy to talk and backed out from arguing with their neighbors.
And despite all the videos and social media posts showing Watkins Capital being teased, Watkins’ boyfriend defended her.
“I don’t believe the conspiracy charges are absolutely fair,” Sineff said.
Kurt Devine of CNN contributed to this story.