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Three Percenters militia members charged in U.S. Capitol attack

Three Percenters militia members charged in U.S. Capitol attack
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WASHINGTON -- U.S. prosecutors have charged six members of the right-wing Three Percenters militia group with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, an indictment unsealed on Thursday in federal court in Washington showed.

Federal prosecutors previously brought similar conspiracy cases against members of two other right-wing groups, The Oath Keepers and The Proud Boys. Those pending cases are the largest and most complex of the roughly 500 brought by the Justice Department in the months since the deadly attack carried out by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Six men, all from California, were charged in the indictment: Alan Hostetter, Russell Taylor, Eric Scott Warner, Felipe Antonio "Tony" Martinez, Derek Kinnison and Ronald Mele.

According to the indictment, Hostetter founded a group in 2020 called the American Phoenix Project that protested restrictions on public gatherings imposed as a public health measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. That group became a platform to advocate violence against government leaders, according to the indictment.

Hostetter and Taylor had appeared with Roger Stone, a long-time friend and adviser of Trump, outside the U.S. Supreme Court at a protest against the outcome of the 2020 presidential election the day before the Capitol riot.

Trump granted a pardon to Stone in December, wiping away his conviction arising from a federal investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, interrupted the formal congressional certification of President Joe Biden s election victory, clashed with an overwhelmed police force, and invaded the House of Representatives and Senate chambers. Five people died.
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