Three Marines With Intelligence Jobs Charged With Capitol Rape On Jan.



Three active-duty Marine Corps members assigned to intelligence-related work, including one at the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Maryland, have been charged with participating in the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, according to unsealed court documents. Thursday and military service records.

Cpl. Micah Coomer, Sgt. Joshua Abate and Sgt. Dodge Dale Hellonen were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday near Camp Pendleton, California, Fort Meade, Maryland, and Camp Lejeune, NC, respectively, and appeared in local federal courts.

The FBI said Abate admitted to entering the Capitol “with two ‘friends'” during a June 2022 interview that was part of his security clearance process while assigned to the Marine Corps Cryptological Support Battalion, which is NSA’s partner and headquarters in Fort Meade. . According to the indictment documents, Abate said that they “walked around and tried not to get hit by tear gas” and “admitted that they heard how the event was being portrayed negatively and decided that they shouldn’t tell anyone about going into the building of the United States Capitol. ”

Each faces charges, including trespassing, disorderly conduct and illegally parading or picketing a Capitol building or restricted grounds, in connection with the riots that have injured dozens of police officers, left offices looted and forced lawmakers to evacuate the facility amid congress meeting to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The sergeants’ occupations as a special communications signals analyst and the corporal’s work as a surveillance and intelligence reconnaissance system engineer were first reported by and were confirmed in their service records.

A Marine Corps spokesman said: “We are aware of an investigation and the allegations. The Marine Corps is cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities in support of the investigation.”

Abate’s lawyer, David Dischley, declined to comment. Federal defenders for the other two men did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The men are the first active-duty military personnel to be charged in the Capitol attack since Major Christopher Warnagiris of the Marine Corps was arrested in May 2021. He is awaiting trial on criminal charges, including assaulting or impeding police. and obstruct an official process. About 120 of the approximately 940 people arrested in the Capitol breach served in the armed forces, reserve or National Guard.

According to indictment documents filed Tuesday and released Thursday, Coomer posted photos to Instagram taken from inside the Capitol during the breach with the caption: “Glad to be a part of history.” Data provided by Facebook in connection with an August 2021 federal search warrant showed that, in a Jan. 31 direct message on Instagram, Coomer allegedly “stated his belief that everything in this country is corrupt. Honestly, we need a fresh start. I’m waiting for the boogaloo.’”

Coomer described the term as “Civil War 2,” according to an FBI arrest statement. US prosecutors described “boogaloo” as a term used by fringe groups to refer to a racially or ethnically motivated civil war.

Capitol surveillance video recorded the three Marines entering the Capitol through the Senate wing door less than 10 minutes after it was first breached, according to the FBI. The trio was moving together and spent 52 minutes in the building, with Hellonen carrying a yellow Gadsden flag with the “Don’t Tread on Me” logo, according to the FBI. This included time in the Rotunda, where “they put a red MAGA hat on one of the statues to take pictures with it on,” an FBI arrest statement said.

All three men had previously received a Good Conduct Medal, awarded for every three years of undisciplined service, according to service records.

Separately, another Washington-area military reservist assigned to the US intelligence community and facing indictment in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was convicted Wednesday of felony offenses unrelated to weapons.

Hatchet M. Speed, a Navy Reserve Petty Officer First Class assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Field Activity at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Virginia, was found guilty of possessing three unregistered firearm silencers by a jury in federal court in Alexandria.

Speed ​​pleaded not guilty to federal misdemeanor charges in Washington after being described by US prosecutors as a heavily armed Nazi sympathizer with US government security clearance who stormed the Capitol with members of the extremist group Proud Boys. A new indictment this month added a criminal charge of obstructing official congressional proceedings against Speed, who until recently worked with a US defense and intelligence cyber operations contractor based outside Vienna, Virginia.

Speed ​​is not charged with violence, has no criminal record, and held a top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information release at the time of his arrest. But prosecutors cited Speed’s alleged statements to an undercover FBI official about using violence to promote “anti-government and anti-Semitic ideologies,” including many “enemies” who live near Washington as the seat of government, and his $ 50,000 in “panic” purchases of firearms after the attack on the Capitol, which included a dozen pistols, handguns, shotguns and rifles.

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