WASHINGTON– Two individuals, who were serving as active-duty members of the Marine Corps at the time, have admitted their guilt in relation to their involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen pleaded guilty on Monday to charges connected to the riot.
They will face sentencing in September, presided over by U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes.
The charges to which they pleaded guilty were misdemeanors, specifically the act of parading, demonstrating, or picketing inside a Capitol building.
The information was provided by a spokesperson from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.
While a significant number of individuals involved in the Capitol riot had military backgrounds as veterans.
It is worth noting that only a small minority were still serving in the armed forces at the time of their participation in the mob’s assault on January 6, 2021.
“A third active-duty Marine, Micah Coomer, also was charged with Abate and Hellonen. Coomer pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor charge in May and is scheduled to be sentenced by Reyes on Aug. 30.“
All three men face a maximum sentence of six months of imprisonment.
As of May 19, it was confirmed that Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen were still serving in the Marines.
However, no further details or updates were provided on Monday regarding their current status.
David Dischley, Abate’s attorney, chose not to comment on his client’s guilty plea.
On the other hand, the assistant public defender representing Hellonen did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.
“Authorities arrested the three men in January: Abate at Fort Meade, Maryland; Coomer in Oceanside, California; and Hellonen in Jacksonville, North Carolina.“
Witnesses stationed with Coomer at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and with Hellonen at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina identified them in videos of the Jan. 6 riot, according to the FBI.
A third witness — also a Marine — identified Abate from footage captured inside the Capitol, the FBI said.
During a June 2022 for his security clearance, Abate said he and two “buddies” had walked through the Capitol on Jan. 6 “and tried not to get hit with tear gas,” according to an FBI special agent.
Abate also admitted he heard how the event was being portrayed negatively and decided that he should not tell anybody about going into the U.S. Capitol Building,” the agent wrote in an affidavit.
“After the riot, Coomer posted photos on Instagram with the caption “Glad to be (a part) of history.” The angles of the photos and the caption indicated he had been inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, the FBI said. The phone number listed for Coomer in his military personal file matched the Instagram account.“
Coomer drove to Washington on the morning of Jan. 6 from his military post in Virginia.
He attended then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally with Abate and Hellonen before they entered the Capitol.
Inside the Rotunda, they placed a red “Make America Great Again” hat on a statute before taking photos of it, prosecutors said.
The three men spent nearly an hour inside the Capitol before leaving.
Less than a month after the riot, Coomer told another Instagram user that he believed “everything in this country is corrupt.”
“We honestly need a fresh restart. I’m waiting for the boogaloo,” he wrote, according to the FBI.
When asked about the term “Boogaloo,” Coomer responded by stating that it referred to “Civil war 2.”
Supporters of the “Boogaloo” movement use this term as slang to describe a hypothetical second civil war or societal collapse.
These individuals often appear at protests armed with rifles and wear Hawaiian shirts underneath their body armor.
Following the events at the Capitol on January 6, over 1,000 people have faced federal charges related to their actions.
Out of these individuals, approximately 600 have pleaded guilty, primarily to misdemeanors carrying maximum sentences of six months to one year in prison.