Jan. 6 protester allegedly threatened Philly vote-counting

Police probe alleged plot to attack vote counting venue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Police officers gather at Pennsylvania Convention Center after probing alleged plot to attack vote counting venue of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Philadelphia, on Nov. 6, 2020.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

District Attorney Larry Krasner wants a Virginia man accused of approaching the Pennsylvania Convention Center with a gun while votes were being counted in the 2020 presidential election to be locked up in Philadelphia for attending political rallies and posting on social media.

Such activities, Krasner told reporters Thursday, go against the pretrial release conditions for 43-year-old Joshua Macias, who, after posting bail in Philadelphia, allegedly participated in the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

More recently, Macias, of Virginia Beach, joined truckers March 8 near Washington, D.C., to protest coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates, prosecutors said.

His attorney, William Brennan, declined to comment on the DA Office’s request prior to a hearing on the motion scheduled for Wednesday, March 23.

Macias is facing charges that include attempted election interference, criminal conspiracy and two weapons violations.

He and Antonio Lamotta, 62, were arrested Nov. 5 in Center City after the FBI alerted local authorities they were traveling to Philadelphia to possibly disrupt the ballot-counting process.

National Guard members stand guard near Philadelphia City Hall after police probing an alleged plot to attack vote counting venue of the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Both were carrying handguns, and officers found an assault rifle and more than 160 rounds of ammunition inside a Hummer belonging to the pair that was parked nearby, according to the DA’s Office.

Joshua Macias

Assistant District Attorney Brian Collins said there is no information that Lamotta, who also lives in Virginia, has violated the terms of his bail.

Prosecutors attempted to persuade a judge to revoke Macias’ bail in January 2021 when information emerged that he was nearby when insurrectionists stormed the Capitol as Congress was ratifying electoral votes.

Macias discussed his Philadelphia arrest during a speech in a neighboring park and video shows him within the security perimeter of the Capitol grounds, the DA’s Office said.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Crystal Bryant-Powell raised Macias’s bail by $100,000, to $850,000, of which he was required to post 10%.

As part of his release, he was also told to refrain from posting on social media and participating in protests.

However, he remained active through the @Vets_For_Trump Twitter account and an organization called Veterans for America First (VFAF), prosecutors wrote in a motion filed Wednesday.

Macias used those channels to endorse far-right Virginia Congressional candidate Jarome Bell, who believes the 2020 election was stolen and has advocated for executing “all involved” in the fraud, according to the Washington Post.

“These are dangerous people,” Krasner said Thursday. “They are doing dangerous things with dangerous people. They should be locked up. That’s the bottom line.”

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