A Punta Gorda man is accused of conspiring to breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
David Moerschel, 43, is the 18th member of the Oath Keepers organization to be arrested in connection with the riots, the Washington Post reported. He was charged with obstruction of justice/Congress, conspiracy and unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds.
Last month, Englewood resident and Oath Keepers member Graydon Young pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for his involvement in the Capitol insurrection.
Moerschel was part of a group captured on video in a military-style “stack” formation, wearing helmets, reinforced vests and clothing with the Oath Keepers’ logo and insignia, moving through a crowd toward the doors of the Capitol, according to charging documents.
One of them wore a badge displaying the Oath Keepers’ motto — “Not on our watch” — and a statement: “I don’t believe in anything. I’m just here for the violence.”
The “stack” managed to break into the Capitol, smashing glass window panes and causing more than $1,000 in damage to the doors. Surveillance video showed the group, still in “stack” formation, moving through the building.
FBI investigators used phone and credit card records to connect Moerschel to a “quick reaction force” that was on standby to travel to the Capitol, possibly while armed.
Moerschel, under the user name “Hatsy,” allegedly participated in encrypted Oath Keepers’ group chats on the Signal app labeled “OK FL DC OP Jan 6.” Moerschel wrote to one user: “We have your bag, We will leave it with Kane at the QRF. We are en route there now.”
Investigators also tracked Moerschel’s phone number to GoToMeeting online meetings associated with the Oath Keepers. Some of the session names were “ok florida,” “florida dc op planning chat,” and “dc planning call.”
Moerschel also made a credit card payment to Oath Keepers Inc. in September.
Investigators believe the Oath Keepers used the Comfort Inn Ballston in Arlington, Virginia, from Jan. 5-7 to store weapons, and that members referred to it as the “QRF hotel.” Surveillance video shows a man who appears to be Moerschel, wearing a long black jacket, and two other men wheeling a concierge cart with a black duffel bag and at least one long gun case into an elevator.
On June 14, Moerschel’s attorney turned over several items to the FBI, including a black flak vest, black jacket, black bag and gun case with a firearm. Moerschel’s attorney was not identified in the report.