A Florida man and member of the far-right Oath Keepers group, who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to three years in prison for seditious conspiracy and related charges.
David Moerschel, 45, from Punta Gorda, Florida, was convicted alongside three other members of the antigovernment extremist group for their involvement in a violent plot aimed at obstructing the transfer of power from former President Trump to President Biden following the 2020 election.
Moerschel, considered a lower-level defendant among the Oath Keepers on trial for seditious conspiracy, was one of nine individuals associated with the group facing charges, the Associated Press reports.
Six defendants, including the group’s founder Stewart Rhodes, were convicted in two separate trials. Rhodes received a record sentence of 18 years in prison last week. Three defendants were acquitted of sedition but found guilty of other offenses related to the January 6 attack.
Prosecutors had sought a 10-year prison term for Moerschel, characterizing him as a lower-ranking member responsible for gathering firearms and ammunition, which were intended to be stored in a Virginia hotel as part of a so-called “quick reaction force” to be deployed to Washington.
However, the weapons were never used. Moerschel provided an AR-15 rifle and a Glock semiautomatic handgun, according to prosecutors.
During the sentencing hearing, Justice Department prosecutor Troy Edwards emphasized the importance of safeguarding the country’s security and democratic values, stating, “The security of our country and the safety of democracy should not depend on the whims of madmen.”
In court, Moerschel expressed deep remorse for his participation in the Capitol breach, acknowledging that he disregarded what he perceived as a divine command to leave the premises. He admitted to disobeying both God and the law.
Moerschel’s co-defendant, Joseph Hackett from Sarasota, Florida, is expected to receive his sentence later on the same day.
On January 6, both Moerschel and Hackett, dressed in paramilitary attire, marched into the Capitol alongside fellow Oath Keepers, moving in a formation known as a “stack.” Charging documents stated that they linked their hands on each other’s shoulders while navigating through the crowd. The group later rendezvoused with Rhodes outside the Capitol.