Joshua Macias, the Virginia man arrested on weapons charges in Philadelphia two months ago after traveling in a Hummer with QAnon stickers to the Pennsylvania Convention Center as votes were being tabulated, could be headed back to jail after attending Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol building.
Philadelphia prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to revoke Macias’ $750,000 bail based on his tweets and Facebook postings from Washington as Trump’s supporters forced their way into the building. Macias’ hashtags included: #WeStopTheSteal and #WethePeopleAreTakingOurCountryBack.
“At a minimum, the defendant violated the conditions of his bail by once again traveling across state lines in an attempt to interfere with a lawful democratic process,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock wrote in the motion. “Where he failed in Philadelphia, he temporarily succeeded in the District of Columbia.”
Five people died in the attack.
Macias, 42, a cofounder of Vets for Trump, was arrested in Center City on weapons charges on Nov. 5, after he and Antonio LaMotta, 61, traveled from Virginia in a silver Hummer with handguns, an AR-15-style rifle, 160 rounds of ammunition, and a samurai sword to allegedly interfere with the vote-counting process, according to prosecutors.
The Hummer displayed the insignia of QAnon, a conspiracy movement the FBI has described as a growing domestic terror threat.
Macias and LaMotta are out on bail on felony and misdemeanor weapons charges, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for next week. Additional election-related charges are expected to be filed.
In Thursday’s bail-revocation motion, prosecutors said Macias was described on Facebook Live as an organizer of Wednesday’s “rally” in Washington and stated in the video: “The enemy is here, it’s not just at the gate, it’s within, we see it everywhere.” He also gave an interview to the Epoch Times, a major publisher of right-wing misinformation, in which he stated: “This is a communist coup going in America and we are not going to stand for it.”
Prosecutors also noted that Macias tweeted a video in which he appears to be standing “well within the Capitol security perimeter.”
“The defendant’s participation in the attempted coup January 6, 2021 implicates a variety of federal and local crimes ranging from Seditious Conspiracy … to Public Property Unlawful Entry,” Wellbrock wrote.
William J. Brennan, the attorney who represents Macias in the Philadelphia gun case, said his continued representation would depend on what investigators determined Macias did in Washington and whether he was one of the hundreds that stormed the Capitol building.
”What I saw inside the Capitol building was a disgrace, but I’ve seen no evidence that my client was inside the Capitol,” Brennan said. “If he was simply outside with tens of thousands of people exercising their right to free speech in Washington, D.C., then he shouldn’t be charged.”
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement Friday that his office had initially requested that Macias be held without bail, but they were denied.
“When the court instead set cash bail that this defendant was able to pay, one of the conditions was that he refrain from criminal activity,” Krasner said. “My office is prepared to argue that this defendant’s participation in the seditious, outrageous, and deadly invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in order to help a criminal president remain in office unlawfully meets the definition of violating terms of bail.”