An accused Jan. 6 rioter awaiting trial is accused of hatching a scheme to “assassinate” the federal agents investigating him.
Edward Kelley, a 33-year-old Maryville, Tennessee resident, allegedly assaulted a police officer at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested in May 2022, and is now accused of conspiring with 26-year-old Austin Carter to hunt down and kill the officers investigating him, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
The two allegedly left a detailed paper trail of the plot: the names of law enforcement officers to be targeted compiled neatly into what they referred to simply as “the list,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. The list is said to have included the names of 37 officers, as well as their official positions and some phone numbers, the complaint says. The list allegedly further detailed which officers were “present at arrest or home search.”
The scheme was undone by a “cooperating witness” whom both Carter and Kelley had roped into the conspiracy, prosecutors say. That witness provided law enforcement with “the list,” along with a flash drive containing security footage from the day of Kelley’s arrest.
“Burn it when you’re done,” Carter had allegedly told the witness when handing over the list of targets.
The unnamed witness had texted with Kelley and Carter and discussed meet-ups, as well as plans on how to kill the officers, according to the complaint.
“With us being such a small group, we will mainly conduct recon missions and assassination missions,” Kelley allegedly told them at a park rendezvous.
He also told the witness to “reach out to your cop buddies” to dig up information on the people included in the list, prosecutors say.
Kelley eventually asked the witness if he could store “weapons and ammo” at that person’s house, before apparently trying to put a plan in place, the complaint says.
“If I’m extradited to DC or you don’t hear about my status within 24 or 48 hours of my, if they are coming to arrest me again, start it. You guys are taking them out at their office. What you and Austin [CARTER] need to do is recruit as many as you can, call [UI] who you need to, and you’re going to attack their office,” he allegedly said, referring to the FBI’s Knoxville office.
“Once you guys have enough people … you don’t have time to train or coordinate, but every hit has to hurt, every hit has to hurt,” he was quoted saying in the complaint.
Kelley and Carter are now charged with conspiracy, retaliating against a federal official, interstate communication of a threat, and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.