Camp Lejeune Marine among 3 active-duty Marines charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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(AP) – Marpehu, who said he was waiting for “Civil War 2,” and two other active-duty soldiers have been charged with involvement in the riots at the U.S. Capitol, according to newly filed court documents.

Micah Kumer, Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Helonen were arrested this week on felony charges after their fellow Marines helped investigators identify them on video in a crowd of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, according to court documents.

Dozens of people accused of rioting have military backgrounds, but these three are among the few on active duty. A Marine officer is seen on camera fighting with police and helping other members of the mob make their way into the Capitol was indicted in 2021.

The court record did not list any attorneys for the men, so it was not immediately clear if they had attorneys available to comment on their behalf.

Their service records show that they are all Marines. Maj. Kevin Stephensen, a spokesman for the Marine Corps, said he was aware of the allegations and was “cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities in support of the investigation.”

Coomer, of Indiana, is stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California; Abate, from Virginia, is stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland; and Hellonen, Michigan, is stationed at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune, according to the Marine Corps.

The men spent about 52 minutes in the Capitol, authorities said. At one point, while inside the rotunda, they put a red “Make America Great Again” hat on the statue to take a picture with it, according to court documents. Helonen was carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, authorities said.

According to the court document, Coomer posted photos taken at the Capitol on Instagram with the caption, “Glad to be a part of history.” Days after the 2020 election, he and another person discussed in an Instagram post how he believed the election was rigged.

And in late January 2021, he told another person in a message that “everything in this country is corrupt.”

“Honestly, we need a new reboot. I’m waiting for the boogaloo,” Coomer wrote in a message detailed in court documents. When asked by the man what “boogaloo” was, Coomer replied “Civil War 2,” authorities said.

Boogaloo is an anti-government, pro-gun extremist movement. Its title is a reference to the slang term for a sequel – in this case, the second US Civil War. The move is named after “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” the sequel to the 1984 breakdancing movie.

Supporters showed up at protests against COVID-19 lockdown orders and against racial injustice, carrying rifles and wearing tactical gear over Hawaiian shirts. The shirts are a reference to the “big luau,” a riff on the term “boogaloo” sometimes enjoyed by group members.

During an interview related to his security clearance in June, Abate admitted to walking through the Capitol with two “buddies,” investigators said. Abate said they “walked and tried not to get hit by the tear gas.”

The Pentagon said Abate was assigned to the Naval Cryptologic Support Battalion, which supports the National Security Agency. The NSA, one of the largest US intelligence agencies, spies on electronic communications around the world and plays an important role in deterring cyberattacks and foreign influence operations.

An NSA spokesman declined to answer questions about when the agency learned of Abate’s claim that he had entered the Capitol, or whether it took steps before his arrest to limit his access to classified information.

The trio face charges including trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Among those indicted on January 6 with a military past are members of the far-right extremist group Oath Keepers, who are accused of conspiring to forcibly keep President Donald Trump in power. The group’s leader, Stuart Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper, was convicted of seditious conspiracy in November.

A Navy reservist from Virginia is accused of storming the Capitol was convicted this week on charges of illegally possessing silencers disguised as harmless cleaning products. Later this year, Hatchet Speed’s trial is scheduled to take place on January 6.

And a former US Army reservist, whom prosecutors called a Nazi sympathizer, was convicted of storming the Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s election victory. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, who worked as a security contractor at a naval base, in September he was sentenced to four years in prison.

So far, nearly 1,000 people have been charged with the riots, and the number is increasing every week. Almost 500 people pleaded guilty to rioting and more than three dozen were convicted in the trial.

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Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press reporters Tara Cope, Michael Kunzelman and Noman Merchant contributed to this report from Washington.



Camp Lejeune Marine among 3 active-duty Marines charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Source link Camp Lejeune Marine among 3 active-duty Marines charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot