A criminal complaint was unsealed today charging Edward Kelley, 33, of Maryville, Tennessee, and Austin Carter, 26, of Knoxville, Tennessee, with conspiracy, retaliating against a federal official, interstate communication of a threat, and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Kelley and Carter made their initial appearance in federal court today in Knoxville before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill E. McCook. Both defendants have been detained. Carter has a detention hearing scheduled for Dec. 21.
According to court documents, Kelley, who is facing charges in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia related to his assault on a law enforcement officer during the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, obtained a list of law enforcement personnel who participated in that criminal investigation. In conversations with a cooperating witness, Kelley and Carter discussed collecting information and plans to kill the individual law enforcement personnel on the list that included an attack on the FBI’s Knoxville, Tennessee Field Office.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Francis M. (Trey) Hamilton III for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division made the announcement.
The FBI is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Casey Arrowood and Kyle Wilson for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Trial Attorneys David Smith and Jacob Warren of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.