Three active-duty Marines face charges for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
An FBI investigation led to the arrest this week of Cpl. Micah Coomer and Sgts. Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen, court documents show. The three men each face four charges, including illegal entry and disorderly conduct.
Investigators relied on surveillance camera footage and open-source materials to identify the men amid the crowd of people who entered the U.S. Capitol, disrupting lawmakers meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. The trio allegedly spent about 52 minutes inside the building.
Search warrants issued to Facebook and Verizon assisted in the inquiry. A federal affidavit disclosed messages on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, that show Coomer suggesting the 2020 election was fraudulent and saying he was waiting for a “boogaloo,” which he clarified meant “Civil war 2.”
The affidavit says Abate was interviewed on June 1, 2022, as part of his security clearance. He discussed how he entered the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 with two “buddies” and they “walked around and tried not to get hit with tear gas.” He also allegedly said he decided he should not tell anyone about going into the Capitol because he heard how the events of that day were being portrayed negatively.
None of the defendants entered a plea or have lawyers listed on the docket, according to reports Friday.
A Marine Corps spokesperson told CNN the military is “aware of an investigation and the allegations” and is “fully cooperating with appropriate authorities in support of the investigation.”
Nearly 1,000 people have been charged in connection to January 6, including dozens of people with military backgrounds, according to the Associated Press. Among the few who were identified to be on active duty was a Marine Corps officer charged in 2021 for allegedly assaulting a federal law enforcement officer.