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Tennessee men, including suspected Jan. 6 rioter, charged with plotting attack on FBI Knoxville office

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A suspected Capitol rioter facing charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection is accused of plotting attacks on law enforcement personnel and an FBI field office in Tennessee. 

Edward Kelley, 33, was arrested along with 26-year-old Austin Carter, both Tennessee residents, in connection with a plan to attack law enforcement personnel involved in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation, the Justice Department said.

WA COUPLE CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY ENTERING US CAPITOL DURING JAN. 6 PROTEST

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Two Tennessee men are charged with allegedly plotting to kill law enforcement personnel involved in the Jan. 6 probe and attacking an FBI field office. 

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Two Tennessee men are charged with allegedly plotting to kill law enforcement personnel involved in the Jan. 6 probe and attacking an FBI field office. 
(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“Federal law enforcement agents put their lives on the line every day to protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney Francis Hamilton III. “Planning and threatening violence against them is among the most serious of crimes. It is absolutely unacceptable and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”

Both men are charged with conspiracy, retaliating against a federal official, interstate communication of a threat, and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. They appeared in federal court Friday in Knoxville.

At some point, Kelley obtained a list of law enforcement personnel involved in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation, federal prosecutors said. Kelley, Carter and a cooperating witness discussed killing the law enforcement personnel and planning an attack on the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office, prosecutors said.

“Today’s allegations that individuals sought to attack and hurt or kill FBI personnel are sickening,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. 

Kelley’s arrest came as he fights charges related to his alleged assault on a law enforcement officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

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In that case, he is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, destruction of government property related to his alleged actions on Jan. 6

Both men were ordered detained Friday. Carter has a detention hearing scheduled for Dec. 21.

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