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Judge locks up ‘Three Percenter’ militia members in Jan. 6 obstruction case

By 37ci3 Apr19,2024

WASHINGTON — Three California men who were linked to the Three Percent militia and convicted of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol were taken into custody Friday after a judge ordered them to serve 21 to 33 months in federal prison. much lower than what the government requires.

It was Eric Scott Warner, Felipe Antonio Martinez, Derek Kinnison and Ronald Mele. found guilty after his conviction last year, he was formally charged with felony and other charges. One of their defendants was former California police chief Alan Hostetter was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison in December. The co-accused gave a statement in the proceedings Russell Taylorpleaded guilty as part of a deal with the government.

The serious crime for which they were convicted – obstructing official proceedings – is currently in the Supreme Court, where some judges were skeptical of the government’s use of the charge. A decision on this matter is expected to be made in the coming months. If the Supreme Court upholds the charge, two of the defendants could face a total of 12 months in prison for the felony charges.

According to evidence presented in court, the men communicated through the “California Patriots – DC Brigade” Telegram chat and brought the guns on a Jan. 6 trip to Washington to participate. They kept a shotgun in their car, and Kinnison and Mele claimed they kept five handguns in their hotel room “even though they understood it was illegal.” “We’re just packing a rifle and a handgun,” Martinez joked, prosecutors said.

Mele took photos of the pistols, shells, ammunition and magazines they brought to the hotel room.
Mele took photos of the pistols, shells, ammunition and magazines the group brought to the hotel room.US District Court for the District of Columbia

Prosecutors had sought lengthy sentences of 6.5 to eight years in federal prison for the four, but the judge Royce Lamberth fell into lower sentences within the guidelines.

Warner received 27 months after telling Lamberth he was “caught” in the crowd and regretted his behaviour. “I shouldn’t have been there,” he said, apologizing for putting his family through “hell.”

Martinez received a 21-month prison sentence after saying he was “very remorseful” and apologized for his behavior, telling Lambert he would “not see me here again.”

Kinnison was sentenced to 33 months in prison. He spoke of his love for God, his family and his country, and expressed his admiration for “the Judeo-Christian principles on which the country was founded.” He said he repented for his sins and asked for forgiveness and prayed for Lamberth and the prosecutors in the case.

Mele was sentenced to 33 months in prison. Prosecutors said he “awarded” his co-conspirators a few weeks after Jan. 6 with the “Capitol Action Badge,” which prosecutors described as a “grossly modified version of the original military award.” He said January 6 “gave this country a black eye”, which is still tender. Mele said he has distanced himself from politics and that the experience of going through the trial and seeing videos of some of the horrific violence in the Capitol “opened my eyes.” He said he did not appreciate what happened and called it “asinine”.

Capitol Action Badge.
A photo of the “Capitol Action Badge” was sent to the Mele defendants.US District Court for the District of Columbia

The government had sought eight years in prison for all but Martinez.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mariano, the stakes could not be too high, and the defendants here were in a “rare class” of January 6 defendants who “worked together and had a plan” and were convicted of criminal conspiracy. He noted that they came to Washington with “everything a soldier needs to go to war.”

“We are 262 days away from January 6, 2025,” said Mariano, claiming that the sentence given “should be taken into account on January 6, 2025, 2029, 2033, etc.”

More than 1,387 people were charged in connection with the attack on the Capitol, and more than 984 defendants were convicted. More than 520 of the more than 859 defendants were sentenced to several days behind bars. 22 years in federal prison.

The vast majority of defendants in custody on January 6 either pleaded guilty or were found guilty at trial; just about 15 accused persons are in prison until the trial.

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By 37ci3

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