A man was arrested and charged this week with allegedly defacing "America's Stonehenge," an archaeological site and popular tourist attraction in Salem, N.H., by carving in a QAnon hashtag as well as his own name.
The Associated Press reported that 51-year-old Mark Russo was arrested in New Jersey on Monday and charged Tuesday in New Hampshire with one count of felony criminal mischief. He pleaded not guilty.
Police say Russo carved "WWG1WGA," an acronym used to identify QAnon supporters, as well as "IAMMARK," matching a Twitter account, into the rock at the site in September 2019. He also allegedly erected a tall wooden cross, on which sketches and various drawings were found.
Much of the damage was done to a large stone table thought to have once been a sacrificial site, the property owners said on Facebook.
"During the night on Saturday, September 28th, a major feature of our site was defaced. A power tool was used to carve into the 9,000-lb grooved table," they wrote last year.
"The stone table was carved with 'WWG1WGA' and 'IAMMARK,' " read a police report obtained by Patch.com. "[The owner] stated that this tablet was approximately 4,000 years old."
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe that Democrats are linked to a supposed global child sex ring; the theory preaches loyalty to former President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE, who it says was waging a secret war against the "deep state" and the Democrats while in office.
A number of those arrested in the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol expressed belief in the theory, which has evolved to include claims that Trump remains president following President BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE's inauguration in January.
The Eagle-Tribune reported that police found Russo online after discovering that he made a social media post referencing the vandalism, which read: "Oh made a few improvements at American Stonehenge. Sorry...my bad."
In a statement posted to Facebook, the site's owners said they are "pleased to announce that an arrest has been made as a result of the defacement of one of our historic structures."
"We would like to thank the Salem Police Department, in particular Detective Mike Geha who worked tirelessly on our case for over 15 months, the FBI, and all other resources that were involved," the post read.
According to the Eagle-Tribune, Salem Police Chief Joel Dolan said, "This is an example of fine police work, and how law enforcement agencies, wherever they may be located, can work together to resolve investigations such as this one."