3 active-duty Marines arrested for involvement in Capitol riots face 'misdemeanor' charges
CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON, D.C: An FBI complaint led to the arrest of three active-duty marines for breaching the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The enlisted Marines, Cpl. Micah Coomer, Sgts Joshua Abate, and Dodge Dale Hellonen were charged this week amid the ongoing crackdown on current or former members of the military associated with the riot. The officers in question are facing four misdemeanor charges, which comprise of ‘disorderly conduct in the Capitol building with the intent to impede Congress.’
The complaint filed by an FBI agent, states that the investigative body tracked them down after Coomer shared a photograph of himself inside the Capitol with the caption, "Glad to be apart [sic] of history." As per the complaint, he expressed support for the Boogaloo Bois, a far-right extremist group that allegedly calls for civil war. Coomer messaged a person in late January 2021, saying that “everything in this country is corrupt.” “We honestly need a fresh restart. I’m waiting for the boogaloo,” Coomer wrote. Asked by the person what's “a boogaloo,” Coomer replied, “Civil war 2,” authorities said.
"We are aware of an investigation and the allegations. The Marine Corps is fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities in support of the investigation," said a Marine Corps spokesperson, Maj Kevin Stephensen. Coomer, of Indiana, is stationed in Southern California’s Camp Pendleton; Abate, of Virginia, is at Fort Meade in Maryland; and Hellonen, of Michigan, is stationed at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune, as per the Marines’ records, as per NBC News.
In an interview regarding his security clearance in June, Abate admitted walking through the Capitol with two ‘buddies,’ as per investigation. “[We] walked around and tried not to get hit with tear gas." The three men were inside the Capitol for around 52 minutes. The video captured them putting a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat on a statue while they were in the rotunda and took pictures with it, according to court records. Authorities said that Hellonen was carrying with him a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag.
For January 6, 2021 riot, around 1,000 people have been charged by the authorities as of now and the numbers will likely go up as the investigation intensifies each week. The record shows that nearly 500 people have confessed to the riot-related charges and over three dozen have been convicted at trial. The three accused officers have not entered into pleas and no attorney has been listed as per the present court records.