Federal complaint: Champaign County woman had directions for making explosives

Jessica Watkins. Photo courtesy Miami Valley Jails.
Jessica Watkins. Photo courtesy Miami Valley Jails.

A Champaign County woman accused in connection to a conspiracy involving the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month had what appears to be directions for making explosives in her home, according to a federal complaint filed in her case Tuesday.

Jessica Watkins, 38, of Woodstock, is charged in federal court with conspiracy, conspiracy to impede or injure officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct. In an amended complaint filed Tuesday in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, an FBI agent writes that authorities found in Watkins’ home several items, including pool cues cut down to baton size.

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“On January 17, 2021, FBI agents in Ohio attempted to execute both warrants in Ohio,” the complaint says. “Agents were unable to locate Watkins, but initiated the search of her home. One record that agents recovered appears to be directions for making explosives, authored by ‘The Jolly Roger.’ I know that Watkins operates a bar known as the Jolly Roger, and is believed to operate a Facebook account under that same user name.”

A photo of paper is attached to the complaint that says “Making Plastic Explosives From Bleach.” Authorities said they found other items when searching the home.

“Law-enforcement also located within Watkins’ home protective and battle gear of the sort worn during the offenses of January 6, 2021 (to include a camouflage hat and jackets; a backpack with medical/PPE supplies; a black tactical kit with medical supplies, radio, mini drone, and pepper spray; a bag containing a helmet and respirators; and a bag containing a helmet, radio, and belt); cellular telephones; numerous firearms; a paintball gun with rubber-steel balls and a cylinder; pool cues cut down to baton size; and zip/cable ties, among other items),” the complaint says.

Watkins was in federal court Tuesday afternoon for an initial appearance. During the hearing, her attorney, U.S. Federal Public Defender Tom Anderson said that Watkins turned herself in to authorities after learning about the raid at her home. An attempt to reach Anderson by the Dayton Daily News on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

The complaint says agents met with an associate of Watkins at her home and the associate told authorities that Watkins was with a friend and fellow Oath Keeper, whom authorities believe to be one of her co-defendants, Thomas Caldwell.

The complaint also says that Watkins and Crowl stated to Urbana police that they had been in Virginia and had driven eight hours back to Ohio when they learned the FBI was looking for them.

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