Federal authorities have arrested and charged five members of a militia allegedly run by a former candidate for Congress for their alleged actions on Jan. 6.
A criminal complaint only names one of the five individuals, Brian Preller, who, according to court records, was arrested in Vermont in connection with the case. Four of the individuals face a felony count of civil disorder, while one faces two misdemeanors.
The other men are John Edward Crowley, Jonathan Alan Rockholt, Tyler Quintin Bensch, and Benjamin Cole, a federal official told NBC News. Crowley, Rockholt, and Bensch were set to appear in federal court in the Middle District of Florida on Wednesday, while Cole is set to appear in the Western District of Kentucky.
The individuals all refer to themselves as members of the “B Squad” and were associated with the Three Percent movement, authorities said in the criminal complaint. They wore “Guardians of Freedom” logos on Jan. 6.
The name “B Squad” and references to “plan B,” the FBI affidavit suggests, referred to “an alternate plan to be in place if they do not get the desired electoral outcome (i.e., the former president remaining in power).”
The leader of the group is referred to as “B Leader” in court filings, but he is not charged.
Although the Justice Department did not name “B Leader,” it included several screenshots from a video of him in the complaint. NBC News was able to identify “B Leader” as Jeremy Liggett, a Florida man who ran in a Republican primary for the U.S. House earlier this year, based off of social media posts, including a copy of the video DOJ used, which was posted by Liggett on social media.
Liggett was also in Washington on Jan. 6 and coordinated the militia members’ travel to the city, according to the complaint. The complaint states that he reserved a block of rooms in a D.C. hotel and that “approximately forty other members of B Squad stayed on the same floor of that hotel on January 5, 2021.”
A phone number listed for Liggett was busy. Liggett did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email.