GUYTON, Ga. — A Georgia man pleaded guilty in his Jan. 6 case to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding and faces up to 40 years in prison.
Brian Ulrich, of Guyton, Georgia, becomes the 11th Georgia resident or person with ties to the state to plead guilty in a Capitol riots case. Even with consideration from the government in his plea deal, his penalty ranks among the most serious any Georgian has faced.
As part of the plea agreement, the government will consider Ulrich's case at an Estimated Offense Level of 26, which according to federal sentencing guidelines, would result in 63-78 months in prison because he has no prior criminal history.
However, the sentencing judge in his case is not bound by the agreement and could offer any sentence up to the 20 years max for each of his offenses.
According to a Justice Department release, Ulrich was a member of the "Oath Keepers" militia movement that played one of the most organized and sophisticated roles in stoking the riots of Jan. 6.
The DOJ claims that leading up to Jan. 6, Ulrich expressed his insurrectionist views with other group members on a communications app called Signal.
The release said:
"In one chat, on Dec. 5, 2020, he messaged the group, 'I seriously wonder what it would take just to get ever(y) patriot marching around the capital armed? Just to show our government how powerless they are!’ On Dec. 11, 2020, Ulrich messaged the group chat that 'Civil War' may be necessary if Joseph R. Biden became President of the United States, adding 'I made my peace with God before I joined.' Another individual later messaged, 'remember, it is not over until January 20th.' Ulrich responded, 'And if there’s a Civil War then there’s a Civil War.'"
The government said Ulrich bought "tactical gear and other items" such as two-way radios, a tactical holster, a medical tourniquet and a "half skull motorcycle helmet" before traveling to Washington on Jan. 4.
Upon learning of the Capitol breach on Jan. 6, Ulrich and others made their way to the scene, the government said, "driving around multiple barricades, including marked law enforcement vehicles."
He was accused of arriving and entering the Capitol before leaving sometime after as officers cleared it.
From the DOJ release:
He and others weaved through the restricted area in a military “stack” formation with hands-on shoulders and gear. Ulrich marched in a line up the stairs on the east side of the Capitol. He entered the building at 3:22 p.m., maneuvering himself toward the entrance to the Rotunda as law enforcement officers were attempting to clear the area. After officers deployed chemical-irritant spray, Ulrich left the Capitol and gathered with other co-conspirators approximately 100 feet from the building.
A statement of offense document said that in "taking such actions, Ulrich intended to influence or affect the conduct of the United States government and to retaliate against the United States government."
"He accomplished this by intimidating and coercing government personnel who were participating in or supporting the Congressional proceeding, including Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and law enforcement officers with the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department," the document states.
As part of his plea agreement, Ulrich could cooperate in cases linked to other Oath Keepers members named in his offense document.
The agreement states he will "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly with this office and other federal, state and local law enforcement authorities" and "promptly turn over to the Government... any and all evidence of crimes about which your client is aware."
According to the DOJ, no sentencing date has yet been set.
Three previous Georgia residents or individuals with Georgia ties have been sentenced in Jan. 6 cases - Verden Nalley was given two years of probation in March, with a judge saying his participation was "less egregious" than most other cases.