six california men Four of them identified as members of the “Three Percenter” armed forces have been charged with conspiring to thwart.Ministry of Justice announced
The indictment, which was released on Thursday, alleges that the coordinating group traveled to D.C. with the stated intention of “fighting” heeding President Trump’s calls to protest the outcome of the presidential election. Some of the defendants wore tactical gear and at least one prosecutor said carried a knife as he drove past police lines in the town hall area.
The case is the first conspiracy lawsuit filed against a member of the anti-government radical Three Percenters. which according to the League Against Defamation It got its name from the incorrect claim that only 3% of American colonies fought against the British during The Revolutionary War and likened the current US government to British colonialism.
They are the third militia group, or extremist group, already cited in conspiracy cases involving the Capitol riots, federal prosecutors have.6 accused of keeping oaths in a single conspiracy case And 15 alleged members or affiliates of the Proud Boys have been charged in four separate conspiracy cases. The DOJ has previously charged at least four other rioters they said were involved. with Three Percenters 1
Defendants Alan Hostetter, 56, Russel Taylor, 40, Erik Warner, 45, Felipe Antonio “Tony” Martinez, 47, Derek Kinnison, 39, and Ronald Mele, 51, were charged with crimes that included conspiracy to obstruction of official action obstruction of government operations and other unlawful immigration fees.
The indictment, first reported by Seamus Hughes, director of the George Washington University Radical Ideas Programme, also claims that at least four members of the group had discussed plans to bring firearms and other weapons. to washington but only accused Taylor. Unlawful possession of dangerous weapons, knives, in the grounds of the Town Hall
Taylor is project director of American Phoenix, a group his co-defendant Hostetter founded in the spring of 2020 to protest government-mandated epidemic restrictions.
Warner is the only defendant accused of entering the Capitol building, although five others are accused of joining the Upper West Terrace rioters.of the Capitol, where officers experienced the most brutal battles.
After the presidential election in November Prosecutors accuse Hostetter of using the American Phoenix Project group to promote violence in response to the outcome. On November 27, 2020, Hostetter posted a video on the American Phoenix Project’s YouTube channel, which he promoted.Claiming that President Trump’s vote at the time had been “stolen,” he said “some people at the highest level had to set an example with one or two or three executions.”
in december After Mr Trump tweeted about the planned Jan. 6 rally, noting that it “will be fierce,” members of the group began planning. Taylor posted a link to Mr Trump’s tweet. and asked the question, “Who is going?”
Evidence provided in the indictment indicates that he went to Washington with the intention of targeting Capitol. On Dec. 29, Taylor posted on encrypted messaging app Telegram, “Personally, I would like to stay ahead. and was one of the first to break the door!”
On January 1, Taylor created a telegram group called “The California Patriots-DC Brigade.” The six defendants, along with more than 30 others, took part.
In the chat, Taylor wrote: “Many of us have never met before. and we are ready and willing to fight.” He said the goal was “Gathering fighters to support each other and make sure no one tramples on our rights.”
Taylor asked group members to state if they had any prior military or law enforcement experience, and wrote, “I think you have one of these weapons that you bring with you and a plate. with” which means armor
Prior to their trip to DC, prosecutors said the group used Telegram and other online platforms. to discuss travel plans Consider what weapons you should carry. and create a radio channel to coordinate while at the town hall In many online conversations Members of the group concealed references to bringing weapons.
Hostetter texted Taylor that he’ll be traveling to DC on December 31st, asking if they can “request late” the day before. “So can you give me a backpack,” he wrote, adding. Three “axes” emojis
“Oh shit, I have to keep it,” Taylor replied. “Alan, did you bring a gun?”
Hostetter replied, “Never (Instagram now checks all messages…this is a public service announcement)” followed by three laughing and laughing emojis.
In a Jan. 1 post, Kinnison wrote to the group he planned to drive from California to DC: “Because our luggage would be too heavy” to fly, he said he, Mele and Martinez planned to bring. “Many equipment” includes medical kits, radios, bear spray, knives, flags, goggles and helmets.
discussion groupIt can be carried in D.C., a city known for its strict firearm laws. And Taylor recommends bringing an ax, a bat, or a large metal torch.
“I believe you can carry most knives firmly. Not just in government buildings,” Taylor said. “Something tells me that if we are in government buildings It won’t be on our list.”
The group also discussed bringing firearms, according to the indictment, although no one has been charged with gun violations. Kinnison wrote to the other conspirators. Asked if they would like to bring a “shot” and “another long iron”, Mele wrote to the group: “The shorter the better. Mine will be hidden under the seat. I’ll take the 18” barrel.
prosecutor said Kinnison sent him a selfie, showing him with shotgun shells wrapped around his body, and wrote, “Get a scarf.”
The group arrived in DC ahead of the Jan. 6 rally, and Taylor, as director of the American Phoenix Project, spoke at a separate Jan. 5 rally in front of the US Supreme Court.
As prosecutor Taylor said in his speech: “I stand here in the streets with you against the communist coup destined to take over America … We are independent Americans and in these streets We will fight and we will bleed. before we allow our freedom to be taken from us.”
Around 11:30 p.m. that night, the indictment states that Taylor posted a photo on the encrypted messaging service that shows the gear stacked on the bed: a khaki backpack. A black plate vest, two axes, walkie-talkie radio, mace, helmet, scarf and knife, he wrote, “Get ready for tomorrow.”
Prosecutors allege that on January 6, Taylor wore armor. holding a knife in his pocket and carried a shotgun in his backpack. During Mr Trump’s speech in the morning Prosecutors said Hostetter and Taylor were outside the Ellipse safe area because they were carrying items that were not allowed inside under intelligence regulations.
later on the same day Prosecutors said Hostetter and Taylor, who were still carrying knives have joined a group of rioters on the ground floor of the Capitol’s West Terrace as they try to push law enforcement officers. Taylor said “Go ahead, Americans!” He turned to an officer a few feet from him and said, “Last chance, retreat!”
Taylor and the hostess were accused of pushing an officer past the Upper West Terrace. And Taylor yelled at the other rioters, “Inside!” before walking towards the Capitol building. Later, Taylor sent a message to the others. said that even though he He did not enter the building because he was “armed”.
Around 6:15 p.m., Taylor posted on the Telegram: “I went through a traitor all day today. We invade the capital!”
later that night Someone texted Taylor asking him what would happen next. He replied, “riot!”