Three Marines with intelligence jobs charged in Jan. 6 Capitol breach

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Three active duty members of the Marine Corps assigned to intelligence-related positions, including one at the National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland, have been charged with participating in a breach of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. according to unsealed court filings. Thursday and military service records.

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

The FBI said Abate admitted entering the Capitol “with two friends” during a June 2022 interview as part of his security clearance process while assigned to the Marine Corps’ Cryptologic Support Battalion, which is partnered with He is headquartered with the NSA at Fort Meade. . According to the charging papers, Abate said they were “walking around and trying to easily hit them,” and “he admitted he heard how the event was being portrayed negatively and decided that he should not tell anyone about entering the US Capitol Building. “

All counts include trespassing, disorderly conduct and illegal parading or picketing in the Capitol building or restricted grounds, in connection with the riots that injured scores of police officers, left offices ransacked and forced lawmakers evacuate the premises in the middle of the Congress meeting to confirm the results. of the 2020 presidential election.

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The sergeants’ careers as special communications signal analysts and the corps’ job as intelligence surveillance reconnaissance systems engineer were first reported by Military.com and confirmed in their service records.

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

Abate’s attorney 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 members charged in the Capitol attack since Marine Corps Capt. Christopher Warnagiris was arrested in May 2021. He is awaiting trial on felony counts that include assaulting or obstructing police and obstruct an official event. About 120 of the approximately 940 people arrested in the Capitol breach served in the military, reserve or National Guard.

According to the charging papers filed Tuesday and unsealed Thursday, Coomer posted photos on Instagram taken from inside the Capitol during the breach titled, “Shooting to be apart of history.” Data provided by Facebook in connection with the August 2021 federal search warrant revealed that Coomer alleged in a January 31 direct message on Instagram, “his belief” that everything in this country is corrupt. Honestly, we need a fresh start. I’m waiting for the boogaloo.’”

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Coomer described the term as “Civil War 2,” according to the FBI’s arrest affidavit. US prosecutors have described “boogaloo” as a term adopted by fringe groups to refer to a racially or ethnically motivated civil war.

Capitol surveillance video captured 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 three were moving together and spent 52 minutes in the building, with Hellonen carrying a yellow Gadsden flag with a “Don’t Tread on Me” logo, according to the FBI. That included time in the Rotunda, where “they put a red MAGA hat on one of the statues to take photos with,” the FBI arrest affidavit said.

The three men were previously awarded the Good Conduct Medal, which is given for every three years of service free from discipline, according to service records.

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

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Hatchet M. Speed, a petty officer first class assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Activity at the Office of National Reconnaissance in Chantilly, Va., was found guilty of possession of three unregistered firearm silencers by a jury in Alexandria federal court.

Speed ​​pleaded not guilty to federal misdemeanor charges in Washington after US prosecutors described him as a heavily armed Nazi bomber with a high-level US government security clearance who stormed the Capitol with members of the Proud Boys extremist group. A new indictment this month added a felony count of obstructing an official congressional proceeding against Luas, which until recently worked with a U.S. defense and intelligence cyber operations contractor based in Vienna. Va.

Speed ​​is not accused of violence, has no criminal history and held a Top Secret/Shared Sensitive Information clearance at the time of his arrest. But prosecutors cited Speed’s alleged statements to an undercover FBI employee about using violence to promote “anti-government and anti-Semitic ideologies,” including many “enemies” who live near with Washington as the seat of government, and his $50,000 worth of “panic” firearms purchases after the Capitol attack that included a dozen pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles.

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