A Virginia man facing trial on charges of driving a gun-filled Hummer to Philadelphia to interfere with the 2020 presidential election has been arrested in a separate case alleging his role in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Joined.
Antonio LaMotta was arrested Tuesday in the southeastern Virginia city of Chesapeake, according to court documents filed in US District Court in Washington.
He faces federal misdemeanors, including trespassing and disorderly conduct at the US Capitol in January 2021. Lawmakers had gathered that day to count the results of the Electoral College, which showed that President Joe Biden won the election.
LaMotta, 63, is among more than 850 people charged with federal crimes for his alleged conduct inside the Capitol building. But it stands out because of the case already pending against him and another man in Philadelphia.
In November 2020, LaMotta and Joshua Macias drove to a Philadelphia convention center where votes were being counted for the presidential election, prosecutors have alleged. The men arrived in a Hummer adorned with a QAnon sticker and loaded with an AR-15-style rifle, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, and other weapons.
QAnon centers on the unfounded belief that former President Donald Trump had waged a secret campaign against “deep state” enemies and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
prosecutors say Macías and LaMotta had planned a mass shooting while the election was on the line, but were thwarted by an FBI tip about their travels. A trial for the men is scheduled for October. The charges include interfering with an election.
At a preliminary hearing last year, lawyers for both men argued that there was no evidence that they interfered or attempted to interfere with election-related activities. Lawyers said it appeared the men were being punished for their beliefs, including supporting false theories that the presidential election was rigged.
The criminal complaint against LaMotta for his alleged actions on January 6 states that he was identified through footage captured on Capitol Hill surveillance cameras as well as police body cameras. LaMotta was also identified by an FBI agent who interviewed him after his arrest in Philadelphia.
“LaMotta entered the Capitol Building through the East Rotunda doors at approximately 3:21 p.m.,” the federal complaint stated. “He was part of a group of rioters who pushed past police officers working to prevent entry to the building. Police pushed LaMotta out of the building, along with other rioters, at approximately 3:29 p.m.
More than 350 defendants charged with rioting on Capitol Hill have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. People convicted of misdemeanors have received sentences ranging from probation to eight months behind bars.
An attorney for LaMotta was not listed in federal court documents related to the Capitol riot case. His Philadelphia attorney for the case, Lauren Wimmer, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Associated Press writer Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report.
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