Six men, members of the Three Percenters, were indicted for conspiracy for their roles in the Capitol riot of January 6th. Five of the six didn’t even go into the Capitol and one crawled through an already broken window.
The charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and aiding and abetting, entering and remaining in restricted building or grounds.
Two of the men indicted, Alan Hostetter and Russell Taylor, of Orange County were condemned for organizing a Virginia for Trump rally held outside the Supreme Court on Jan.5.
The indictment also suggested Hostetter was dangerous in part because he founded the American Phoenix Project to oppose government-mandated Covid restrictions.
Politico reported that two other large conspiracy cases focus on groups known as the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers that allegedly stormed the Capitol building. However, in this case, only one of those charged is accused of actually entering the Capitol. Instead, prosecutors allege that the remainder crossed police lines and went onto the Capitol’s upper west terrace.
The four other men charged in the new indictment — Erik Warner, Felipe Martinez, Derek Kinnison and Ronald Mele — traveled to Washington in a rented SUV after organizing in another Telegram chat labeled as the “California Patriots-DC Brigade,” according to prosecutors. Before departing for Washington, the four men posed for a photo flashing a hand sign associated with a Three Percenter group, the indictment alleges.
They sounded wired up, picturing themselves as freedom fighters. They took selfies and had radios and earpieces for communication. One talked of breaching the doors but mostly they talked about justice for their opponents, meaning long prison terms.
They rallied the day before and that seems to have landed at least one the “dangerous” label.
This is a sample of one message they exchanged on Telegram:
It reminded us of Loretta Lynch calling for blood and death in the streets (a call to Antifa and BLM no doubt):
“It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.”
In one selfie, there was a photo of a stun baton, a knife, and two hachets, and some defensive attire on a bed in their hotel room, including a note with one claiming he was preparing for the 6th. One of the men indicted appeared to carry a knife and another had the stun baton the next day at the Capitol.
There is no evidence that they used them.
At least one of the six said, “Move forward Americans,” as people charged the Capitol. One shouted, “Insurrection.”
That’s the worst of it so far.
But five never trespassed in the Capitol.
Basically, they are charged with enough crimes to go to prison for decades because they:
- organized a rally the day before,
- one man angrily bellowed during the charge as part of his free speech rights,
- Five didn’t go into the Capitol and one went into the Capitol,
- one had a knife and another had a stun baton, they did not use insofar as we know,
- “Insurrection,” one screamed, also part of his free speech rights,
- of the six, one was opposed to lockdowns and joined an anti-lockdown group,
- they communicated with radios,
- and they bloviated in notes they sent to each other on Telegram.
NEW: Feds bring another conspiracy indictment in #CapitolRiot. 6 men affiliated with Calif.-based threepercenter group, including ex-chief of police of small city in Orange County. Most didn’t go into Capitol building, it appearshttps://t.co/sRHgjS1QfZ
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) June 10, 2021