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Another Tampa man pleads guilty to storming U.S. Capitol

A defendant from Tampa pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. His sentencing won’t come until September.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C..
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.. [ SAMUEL CORUM | Getty Images North America ]
Published Jul. 21
Updated Jul. 21

A 20-year-old Tampa man pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Caleb Berry is charged with conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice said Berry is a member of the Oath Keepers, which proclaims itself as a far-right, anti-government militia movement. Berry, as part of his plea agreement, has sworn to help federal investigators search for further suspects involved in the breach of the Capitol.

Berry traveled to Washington from Florida with other members of the Oath Keepers days before the insurrection. Once there, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, the group discussed their plans for Jan. 6 and expressed a need to buy guns. Then, while Congress tried to certify the election results, Berry stormed a restricted area at the Capitol. Once there, he fought with U.S. Capitol Police officers to gain entry into the building.

He wore an Oath Keepers shirt and hat as he committed the attack, according to the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice described Berry and fellow Oath Keepers actions as such:

Berry, along with other members of the Oath Keepers, joined on the east side of the Capitol in a stack formation with each person keeping a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. After a 10-minute wait, some members began pushing against U.S. Capitol Police officers and the Rotunda doors to force their way into the building.

That’s when Berry and other rioters made their way inside. The 20-year-old admitted to federal law enforcement after the incident that he intended to “stop Congress’ certification of the electoral college vote by intimidating and coercing government personnel participating in the Congressional proceeding.”

Berry also admitted to officials that he deleted data on his cell phone, including encrypted communications with some of his co-conspirators.

Berry faces a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 20 years on the obstruction charge, as well as a period of supervised release, according to the news release. His status hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

His plea comes one day after another Tampa man, Paul Allard Hodgkins, was sentenced to eight months in prison for breaching the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag. His case was the first resolution for a felony case in the Capitol insurrection.

Related: Tampa man who breached Senate during riot sentenced to 8 months

Berry and Hodgkins are two of 535 people who have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including more than 165 people who are charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement.