UNITED STATES NEWS

4 California men linked to Three Percenters militia convicted of conspiracy in Jan. 6 case

Nov 8, 2023, 11:23 AM | Updated: 12:54 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four California men linked to the “Three Percenters” militia movement have been convicted charges including conspiracy and obstruction for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Erik Scott Warner, 48, of Menifee,; Felipe Antonio Martinez, 50, of Lake Elsinore,; Derek Kinnison, 42, of Lake Elsinore,; and Ronald Mele, 54, of Temecula, were found guilty on Tuesday after a trial in Washington’s federal court, according to prosecutors.

They were convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding — the joint session of Congress in which lawmakers met to certify President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Attorneys for Martinez and Warner declined to comment, and emails seeking comment were sent to an attorney for Mele.

Kinnison’s lawyer, Nicolai Cocis, said he is disappointed with the verdict and they are considering all available legal options.

“Mr. Kinnison is a patriotic citizen who wanted to show his support for President Trump, who he believed was the rightful winner of the 2020 election. He regrets his involvement in the events of January 6,” Cocis said in an email.

Prosecutors say the men were part of a Three Percenters militia in southern California. The Three Percenters militia movement refers to the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British.

They were charged in 2021 alongside Alan Hostetter, a former California police chief, right-wing activist and vocal critic of COVID-19 restrictions, who was convicted in July in a separate trial. Another one of their codefendants, Russell Taylor, pleaded guilty in April to a conspiracy charge.

The four men joined a telegram chat with Hostetter and Taylor called “The California Patriots – DC Brigade” to coordinate plans for coming to Washington. Taylor posted that he created the group for “fighters” who were expected to bring “weaponry” and body armor with them to Washington on Jan. 6, according to prosecutors.

Warner, Martinez, Kinnison and Mele drove cross country together days before the riot. On Jan. 6, Warner entered the Capitol through a broken window. Meanwhile, Martinez, wearing a tactical vest, and Kinnison, who was wearing a gas mask, joined rioters on the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace, according to the indictment. Mele, who was also wearing a tactical vest, proclaimed “Storm the Capitol!” in a “selfie” style video on the stairs of the building, prosecutors say.

Warner and Kinnison, who were accused of deleting the “DC Brigade” chat from their phones after the riot, were also convicted of tampering with documents or proceedings.

22 years.

United States News

Associated Press

Jurors in Trump’s hush money trial zero in on testimony of key witnesses as deliberations resume

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial is to resume deliberations Thursday after asking to rehear potentially crucial testimony about the alleged hush money scheme at the heart of the history-making case. The 12-person jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Besides asking to […]

2 hours ago

Alito...

Associated Press

Alito rejects calls to quit Supreme Court cases on Trump and Jan. 6 because of flag controversies

Justice Samuel Alito is rejecting calls to step aside from Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants, saying his wife hoisted the two controversial flags that flew above their homes.

4 hours ago

Nissan...

Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday. Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said. Diaz’s departure […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Disneyland performers’ vote to unionize is certified by federal labor officials

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California are officially unionized. Federal labor officials said Wednesday that they’ve certified the results of a three-day election that took place earlier this month in Anaheim. Actors’ Equity Association will represent roughly 1,700 performers and assistants who help bring Disney’s popular characters to life […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan willing to spend millions to restore Flint properties ripped up by pipe replacement

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan said it’s willing to step in and oversee property repairs at 1,900 homes in Flint where water pipes have been inspected or replaced but the grounds remain a mess. The city in March was found in civil contempt by a judge after blowing past deadlines to get the […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

4 California men linked to Three Percenters militia convicted of conspiracy in Jan. 6 case