06/14/2024

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Daniel Edwin Wilson is seen in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (images via DOJ court filings).

‘I am a gray ghost ranger’: Man nicknamed ‘Live Wire’ admits to plotting to interfere with police at Capitol on Jan. 6 after saying ‘it’s time for good men to do bad things’

Daniel Edwin Wilson is seen in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (images via DOJ court filings).

A Kentucky man who went by the online moniker “Live Wire” with alleged links to a militia group has admitted to planning to interfere with officers during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Dan Edwin Wilson, 48, of Louisville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, the Justice Department said in a press release. Wilson also pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges for being in possession of an unregistered firearm. He was among the thousands of Donald Trump supporters who descended on the Capitol building on Jan. 6 as Congress prepared to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win.

Prosecutors say that Wilson started planning in the winter of 2020 to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, the day of certification mandated by the Constitution. Using the encrypted messaging app Telegram, Wilson — who went by the handle “Live Wire” — responded in a group chat about traveling to Washington, D.C.

“Ooh Rah,” he wrote on Dec. 24, according to federal investigators, followed by a statement signaling an apparent willingness to carry out considerable violence: “Curb stomp crew all in!!!”

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    He wrote again later that day, hinting at his militia ties, according to federal prosecutors.

    “We are willing to work and coordinate with others, but I am a gray ghost ranger,” he wrote, apparently referring to his affiliation with the so-called “Gray Ghost Militia,” although he later told federal investigators he was not a “legitimate member of any militia,” according to the criminal complaint. He also apparently considered bringing firearms to the Capitol that day, but decided to hold off — at least for the time being — while also indicating an interest in expanding possible government takeovers.

    “In my opinion I don’t think it’s time to gun up for the sixth we have to play this out but if they seat biden on the 20th all bets are off it’s gonna happen even if Trump wins we have to get this government under control it’s been crossing my mind if we go to a Civil War do we try to take Washington DC first or do we try to take state capitals first.”

    Days later, on Dec. 27, he allegedly committed himself wholly to the cause.

    “I am ready to lay my life on the line,” he wrote, according to prosecutors. “It is time for good men to do bad things.”

    After watching Trump’s speech at the Ellipse that day — in which the soon-to-be-former president implored his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” against the peaceful transition of presidential power — Wilson and his co-defendant, David Scott Kuntz, did exactly that. Wilson was apparently undeterred by the presence of fencing and barricades as he approached the building.

    According to the criminal complaint, Wilson was in regular communication with militia members as they scrambled to break the police line.

    “The people are trying to push through the barricade at the Capitol building,” he said over Zello, a walkie-talkie cellphone app, at around 1:43 p.m. “We’re headed that way.”

    One minute later, he was asked over Zello: “How many patriots do we have pushing through at the Capitol, Live Wire?”

    Wilson — code name “Live Wire” — responded a few seconds later: “Hey, pass the word, Badlands, as fast as you can, the people are pushing on the Capitol. We need hands on deck.”

    “Heard, Live Wire,” said the individual known as “Badlands,” according to the FBI. “Will send.”

    “We need all hands on deck,” Wilson allegedly said in a Zello message to a group called “Oath Keepers general chat,” prosecutors said. Top members of the right-wing extremist Oath Keepers group have been convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with Jan. 6 and sentenced to years behind bars.

    Wilson is later seen cheering on the mob outside the Capitol before entering the building while wearing a gas mask. He allegedly stayed inside for just over 10 minutes.

    He was arrested on May 25, 2023, almost a year after the federal search warrant was executed on his home. As court records note, on June 3, 2022, law enforcement seized six firearms which were stored in a backpack and cabinet in Wilson’s home, including some that were covered by clothing.

    “Wilson was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time, due to previous felony convictions,” the probable cause affidavit notes. “At least two of the seized firearms were loaded at the time of seizure, and another two did not have serial numbers.”

    Federal law enforcement also seized clothing that appeared to match what Wilson wore inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    The firearm charges were initially filed in Kentucky federal court but were later transferred to the District of Columbia, the FBI says.

    Wilson will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, on Aug. 22. He faces up to six years behind bars on the conspiracy charge.

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    The post ‘I am a gray ghost ranger’: Man nicknamed ‘Live Wire’ admits to plotting to interfere with police at Capitol on Jan. 6 after saying ‘it’s time for good men to do bad things’ first appeared on Law & Crime.